A year with heightened focus on sustainability and corporate responsibility
More climate-friendly investments, continued focus on our function as active investor and establishment of a new customer network tasked with offering input on PFA’s work in the senior area. These are some of the initiatives that have played a part in strengthening PFA's corporate responsibility during 2018. Mikkel Friis-Thomsen, Vice President, Communications says in connection with PFA’s publication of its 2018 CR Report.
As a pension company, PFA is not only responsible for making the customers’ money grow but also for ensuring that this is done is a proper manner so that the value we create today does not negatively impact tomorrow’s basis for living. This is an ongoing process, and PFA continuously takes steps in the right direction, the Vice President says.
“One of the key aspects of PFA’s work with responsibility is our function as an active investor. This means that we take responsibility for our investments and, for example, participate in general meetings of the companies in which we invest. This has also been the case during 2018, when we exerted our influence at the general meetings of 70 companies in Denmark as well as abroad,” Mikkel Friis-Thomsen explains.
Tough year for the reputation of the financial sector
In this connection, he also mentions the money laundering and dividend tax cases that PFA has been involved in through its investment in Danske Bank and cooperation with Macquarie on the purchase of TDC.
“We take both cases very seriously, and, in relation to Danske Bank, we have regularly demanded greater transparency as well as, together with other investors, pushed for the changes to the bank's board of directors which were carried out at end-2018. In relation to Macquarie, we have criticised the company's part in the case concerning dividend tax, and we have subsequently revised our Code of Conduct to ensure that the demands we make on the companies we cooperate with are even clearer," the Vice President says.
He adds that sometimes the active and critical dialogue is not enough, and that PFA therefore, in some cases, has to resort to excluding companies. This has also happened this year, and the development is publicly available at pfa.dk, where PFA, on an ongoing basis, publishes its policies, reports and decisions.
Greener equities than the average
When talking about corporate responsibility, there is no ignoring the climate issue, which, during 2018, has taken up a lot of space in the public debate as well as on PFA's responsibility agenda.
“PFA has committed itself to the targets agreed on in the Paris Agreement in 2015. Therefore, they are also part of the dialogue we enter into with the companies that we invest in. In addition, we have, in 2018, introduced a method for climate screening our equity portfolio in order to elucidate its carbon footprint. This has shown that, at the turn of the year, our equity portfolio was 14 per cent greener than the world index," the Vice President explains.
Finally, he stresses that corporate responsibility is also about close relations with PFA’s employees as well as the employees of PFA’s many corporate and organisational customers.
“A part of our corporate responsibility is to help facilitate a strong framework for both our customers’ professional life and their retirement. In 2018, we have, among other things, helped our corporate and organisational customers with strategic health initiatives to increase job satisfaction and reduce sickness absence among their employees. We have also established a customer network whose objective is to offer input on how we create a better framework for seniors and for the transition from working life to retirement.”