The Netherlands’ PFZW excludes 16 companies from portfolios

Dutch pension fund PFZW excluded 16 companies from its equity and bond investments in the first half of 2022, it has revealed.

The majority of the exclusions were of Russian investments, although not all of its Russian investments have been sold as it was not yet possible in all cases due to, for example, the legal ban on trade.

In total, it sold 11 investments relating to Russia: Polymetal International, Yandex NV-a, Evraz, Veon, Fix Price Group, PhosAgro, Lukoil Capital, Alrosa Finance, Gazprom, Severstal and Sberbank.

Several other investments were sold because the companies did not comply with what PFZW considered ‘responsible business conduct’, which is tested against the international OECD standards.

One, Leidos Holdings, based in the US, was due to controversial weapons, another, Tata Power, based in India, was due to investment in coal, while it also pulled investment from Live Nation, also based in the US, due to quality and safety concerns.

India’s UPL was excluded due to emissions, wastewater and waste, and investment in Spain’s Abertis Infraestructuras was sold for quality and safety reasons.

Explaining its system, which is based on the OECD's, for divestments, PFZW stated: “Based on the OECD system, the research firm Sustainalytics gives companies a score between one and five, where one is the highest score and five means that in the field of ESG there is very serious and structural violations.

“If a company receives a score of five, PFZW will sell this interest. A score of four indicates a 'serious' offender and PFZW then starts a shareholders' dialogue with the aim of using our power as a shareholder to improve the situation.

“If this does not happen, consideration is being given to selling the interests.

“If a company that was previously sold improves sufficiently, we retain the option of investing in it again.”

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