The Strategy Council today presented a report on the GPFG's strategy for responsible investments. – The Council offers several recommendations on how we can strengthen the Fund's efforts further, says Minister of Finance Siv Jensen.
The purpose of the management of the GPFG is to secure a good long-term return, at a moderate level of risk. The government place emphasis on transparency and ethical awareness in the management of the Fund. In the last decade, valuable responsible investment knowledge has been developed in both the Council on Ethics, Norges Bank and the Ministry of Finance. Also internationally, work on responsible investment is continuously developing.
– Independent, expert advice is an important part of our efforts to develop the fund management further. In addition, such advice contributes to transparency and debate about important parts of the management of the fund, says Minister of Finance Siv Jensen.
In the report, the Strategy Council gives recommendations on how the Ministry of Finance can strengthen the Fund's responsible investment effort further. The Council points out that there is a need to clarify the motive for the strategy on responsible investment. The Council emphasises the significance of openness about principles and strategies in the exercise of ownership, which is important for clarifying expectations for the companies in which the Fund invests. The Council points out that a serious gap in knowledge exists about the impact of long-term environmental and social trends, and of responsible investment activities themselves, on real portfolio value over the long term. They recommend that the Fund should encourage independent research in this area.
The Strategy Council also recommends that exclusions and ownership strategies are both carried out by Norges Bank, and that the resources and competencies in today's Council on Ethics are integrated intothe Bank's work in the future.
– I note that it is the Strategy Council's view that gathering all the tools/instruments in one place and considering exclusions as an integral part of these ownership strategies will make the Fund more influential and improve the overall efficiency of our responsible investment efforts,. We will have a thorough and open process to follow up the report from the Strategy Council, says Minister of Finance Siv Jensen.