This report shows public data only. Is this your organisation? If so, login here to view your full report.

Storebrand ASA

PRI reporting framework 2020

Export Public Responses

You are in Direct - Listed Equity Incorporation » ESG incorporation in actively managed listed equities » Implementation processes

Implementation processes

LEI 01. Percentage of each incorporation strategy

01.1. Indicate which ESG incorporation strategy and/or combination of strategies you apply to your actively managed listed equities; and the breakdown of your actively managed listed equities by strategy or combination of strategies.

ESG incorporation strategy (select all that apply)

Percentage of active listed equity to which the strategy is applied — you may estimate +/- 5%
100 %
Total actively managed listed equities 100%

01.2. Describe your organisation’s approach to ESG incorporation and the reasons for choosing the particular strategy/strategies.

At Storebrand Asset Management we believe that a multi-layered approach to sustainable investing is required in order to adequately address all risks and investment possibilities in the ESG area.

Screening: Is used as a basis for our strategy. Storebrand has one of the markets most stringent minimum standards and applies it to all assets under management, without exception. Screening of companies avccording to this standard allows us to capture operational ESG risks and to assure our clients that their assets not invested in companies that breach fundamental norms and conventions. The Sustainable Investment team is responsible for screening with input from an external data provider, and results are made available to fund managers in a quarterly report. Compliance is run daily. In 2019 Storebrand has made certain modifications to the standard. 1) One important modification was the cannabis criteria. Storebrand will not invest in companies where the sale of cannabis products for recreational use, or components exclusively designed for such products, exceeds 5 percent of total sales. The criterion applies to producers and distributors as well as companies involved in the cultivating or processing of cannabis for recreational use. The criterion does not apply to income from cannabis products that are not classified as recreational. 2) Second modification to the Storebrand standard was the introduction of absolute threshold for coal exclusions. Storebrand will not invest in companies which produce over 20 million tons of coal annually or operate more than 10,000 MW of coal-fired capacity.

Integration: The objective of integrating ESG into all investment activities is based on our belief that understanding ESG risks and opportunities will be a prerequisite for securing long term returns. Storebrand own literature reviews over the past few years have revealed that there is mounting evidence in international studies that the link between ESG performance and financial returns is strengthening. Our own internal analysis have also identified long term ESG trends that we believe will influence companies financial performance over the long term. Thus we see ESG integration in mainstream management of equities as necessary to capture the risks and market possibilities that apply to individual sectors/industries/companies. It is also a matter of strategic positioning to the Storebrand Group, and is utilised as a differentiating factor. Fund Managers are responsible for incorporating ESG factors into management with input from the Sustainable Investment team. With the adoption of a new Rating in 2019, we calculate the Sustainability Score on over 4500 companies and base it on a 0-100 scale, for the use of all Fund managers in their selection of companies.

The launch of the SPP fossil free Plus funds from March-September 2016 marked a significant milestone in integration at Storebrand. Product development was fund manager driven and integrated ESG elements (carbon footprint/fossil screening and sustainability rating) into existing quantative management models. the result is a family of funds that are low risk (<1 in tracking error) but that still manage to be fossile free, have a high sustainability rating and a low carbon footprint compared to the reference index. In 2019 Storebrand tripled the amount of fossil free investments by making all funds if the the Swedish subsidiary SPP Funds fossil free, the total AUM in fossil free investment solutions now amounts to EUR 26 bn, or a third of total AUM.

Thematic: Storebrand does ESG analysis on specific themes and incorporates results into investment decisions. Themes are identified on a sector basis in annual sector analyses conducted by the Sustainable Investment team. Deforestation is an example of theme that directly affect investment decisions in several sectors.

In the light of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change Storebrand has had a focus throughout 2019 on climate risk and adjustment. Storebrand has strengthened its exclusion criteria on coal, tripled the amount of fossil free investments, launched a deforestation policy and engaged with companies with in activities related to the production of soy, palm oil, cattle and timber. Our portfolios have also been stress tested against a 2 degrees scenario. The reccomendations of the taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures have been followed up in 2019, with special focus on an engagement process with large Norwegian companies on TCFD disclosure. 

01.3. If assets are managed using a combination of ESG incorporation strategies, briefly describe how these combinations are used. [Optional]

The exclusion strategy comprises all assets managed in-house, and thus reduces the investment universe for all portfolio managers. On average 6-7% of the reference index is excluded.

Storebrand operates with an "Observation List" which is designed to bring together two key strategies - engagement and exclusion, for better results. The observation list is for companies that have serious breaches of international norms and conventions, but where Storebrand sees the possibility for meaningful engagement. Companies on the list are prioritised with regard to engagement and are closely monitored for a period of one year. If improvements are sufficient  a company maybe taken off the list. If improvements aren't made, exclusion could result. There are restrictions on ownership levels for companies on the list.

The global equity fund Storebrand/SPP Global Solutions is Storebrand's flagship Sustainability fund, and was relaunched in 2018 as a more actively managed fund that seeks to invest in companies with solutions to UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The family of Plus funds described above combine the following strategies

.- screening based on Storebrand standard, fossile free criteria, and additional criteria

- optimisation based on carbon footprint/ sustainability rating

- selection of climate solution companies for 5-10% of portfolio

 


LEI 02. Type of ESG information used in investment decision

02.1. Indicate what ESG information you use in your ESG incorporation strategies and who provides this information.

Type of ESG information

Indicate who provides this information  

Indicate who provides this information 

Indicate who provides this information 

Indicate who provides this information 

Indicate who provides this information 

Indicate who provides this information 

02.2. Indicate whether you incentivise brokers to provide ESG research.

02.4. Additional information. [Optional]

We calculate the Sustainability Score on over 4500 companies and base it on a 0-100 scale. It is comprised of two main building blocks, ESG risks and SDG opportunities. On the ESG risk side, the score assesses companies' exposure to, and management of, financially material sustainability risks. On the SDG opportunities side, we analyse sustainability data sources, to find companies whose products and services contribute positively to the achievement of financially relevant SDGs. For products and services, we source FTSE Russel Green Revenue data, in addition to internal research, to identify solutions companies. The SDG opportunities section of the score also has a company operations dimension, particularly related to Gender Equality.


LEI 03. Information from engagement and/or voting used in investment decision-making

03.1. Indicate whether your organisation has a process through which information derived from ESG engagement and/or (proxy) voting activities is made available for use in investment decision-making.

03.2. Additional information. [Optional]

ESG engagement information and results are logged in an internal CRM system and utilised in the screening process and dialogue with fund managers. Voting activities are currently prioritized based on theme, the size of our position and geographically (Norway/Sweden). In 2019 we updated our voting policy to highlight certain ESG issues. In 2019 we have voted extensively on climate change, environment and gender equality issues.

 

Voting in Norway and Sweden is primarily conducted by fund managers. There is an Engagement forum that meets at least quarterly to discuss both ongoing engagement activities and voting issues. Represented in this forum are Head of Equities, Head of Norwegian equities, Head of Sustainable Investments and Vice Head of Fund management. These meetings ensure that information is communicated regularly throughout the asset management area. At these meetings our strategy and voting on international AGMs of interest are also discussed.

 


(A) Implementation: Screening

LEI 04. Types of screening applied

04.1. Indicate and describe the type of screening you apply to your internally managed active listed equities.

Type of screening

Screened by

Description

The Storebrand Standard applies to all internally managed funds and portfolios, and covers:
1) Product related exclusions: controversial weapons (landmines, cluster munitions, nuclear weapons, chemical/biological weapons) and tobacco
2) Controversial issues: human rights and international humanitarian law, corruption and economic crime, environmental degradation
3) Sector specific exclusions: lowest performing companies in high risk industries + climate related (companies with more than 25% of revenues from coal, or planned coal fired plants over 1000MW, oil sand companies,  palm oil companies involved in extensive deforestation)

Extra ethical criteria in addition to the Storebrand standard applies to some dedicated Sustainability funds. The extended Storebrand standard is has additional screening criteria such as revenues from alchohol, pornography, gambling and defence contracts. There is also extra fossil free criteria that excludes all companies with over 5% of revenues from the production and/or distribution of fossil fuels. Companies with over 100 million tonnes CO2 embedded in reserves are also excluded on this criteria.

Screened by

Description

 

 

 

 


 

Screened by

Description

The Storebrand Standard is described under negative/exclusion screening above, which is based on a range of international conventions (all relevant conventions are listed in a detailed framework document for each topic).

04.2. Describe how you notify clients and/or beneficiaries when changes are made to your screening criteria.

The negative and norms-based screening criteria have been developed over the past 20 years, mainly by in-house ESG analysts, with the support of external expert advice. Important clients have also been included in the development of criteria.

The Storebrand Standard has been approved by the Executive Committee. Clients are informed of major changes through news letters, KAMs, and/or tailored reporting. The standard is reviewed continually with changes being made to existing criteria or new criteria being implemented.

The sector research (positive screening) has been developed over the past 20 years, mainly by in-house ESG analysts, in cooperation with CIO and portfolio managers. continuously improved by the ESG research team. More focus has been put on opportunity/product based indicators which apply to a smaller number of companies within a sector.

The Storebrand Investment Committee meets quarterly to decide on exclusions and can also decide on new interpretation of existing criteria.


LEI 05. Processes to ensure screening is based on robust analysis

05.1. Indicate which processes your organisation uses to ensure ESG screening is based on robust analysis.

05.2. Indicate the proportion of your actively managed listed equity portfolio that is subject to comprehensive ESG research as part your ESG screening strategy.

05.3. Indicate how frequently third party ESG ratings are updated for screening purposes.

05.4. Indicate how frequently you review internal research that builds your ESG screens.

05.5. Additional information. [Optional]

Continual screening of over 4000 companies by external data provider Sustainalytics on 100% of assets under management.

Monthly incident reports on possible criteria breaches.

Prioritisation of the most serious breaches (Sustainalytics categories 3, 4 and 5) for further in-depth analysis by in-house team.

The Investment Committee made up of leaders at Storebrand make the final decision on exclusion from the investment universe based on a reccomendation and research provided by the ESG team.


LEI 06. Processes to ensure fund criteria are not breached

06.1. Indicate which processes your organisation uses to ensure fund criteria are not breached.

          Automated, daily compliance checks for both Storebrand Standard (exclusions) and ESG rating thresholds
        

06.2. If breaches of fund screening criteria are identified, describe the process followed to correct those breaches.

Any mandates found by compliance systems to be in breach with Storebrand Standard (exclusions) or Sustainability Rating thresholds are flagged as breaches and reported to Management and the Board.

Breaches must be corrected immediately.

06.3. Additional information. [Optional]


(B) Implementation: Thematic

LEI 07. Types of sustainability thematic funds/mandates

07.1. Indicate the type of sustainability thematic funds or mandates your organisation manages.

07.2. Describe your organisation’s processes relating to sustainability themed funds. [Optional]

Our Sustainability funds are based on a combination of methods designed to enhance sustainbility factors within existing mandates. The following tools are used

- Storebrand standard screening for all funds

- Additional Ethical criteria for specific clients

- Fossil free screening based on a screen from data providers such as Trucost and ISS that excludes all companies with over 5% revenue from the production and/or distribution of fossil fuels

- Optimisation on sustainability rating (higher average sustainability score than index)

- Optimisation on carbon footprint (significantly lower than index)

- Investment in 5-10% climate solutions portfolio

 

Sustainability equity products 2019

Storebrand Multifactor Plus

Storebrand Renewable Energy

Storebrand Future Cities

Storebrand Gender Equality

Storebrand Global ESG Plus

Storebrand Global ESG

Storebrand Norge Fossilfri

Storebrand Global Solutions

All SPP Funds (new development in 2019)

 

 


(C) Implementation: Integration of ESG factors

LEI 08. Review ESG issues while researching companies/sectors

08.1. Indicate the proportion of actively managed listed equity portfolios where E, S and G factors are systematically researched as part of your investment analysis.

ESG issues

Proportion impacted by analysis
Environmental

Environmental

Social

Social

Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

08.2. Additional information. [Optional]

Our In house Sustainable Investment team  performs annual analyses of

- The most important ESG international trends, based on literature review

- The KPI's used (E,S and G) used in company SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) analyses. The company SDG analyses conducted in addition to Sustainalytics ESG score are the basis for the internal Sustainability rating of 0-100.

External financial research providers only occasionally review the potential significance of ESG issues.

The Norwegian equities team performs an ongoing analyses of portfolio companies, primarily on corporate governance issues.

The ESG ratings are readily available to all fund managers in their internal data systems and are used actively in investment decision making.


LEI 09. Processes to ensure integration is based on robust analysis

09.1. Indicate which processes your organisation uses to ensure ESG integration is based on robust analysis.

09.2. Indicate the proportion of your actively managed listed equity portfolio that is subject to comprehensive ESG research as part your integration strategy.

09.3. Indicate how frequently third party ESG ratings that inform your ESG integration strategy are updated.

09.4. Indicate how frequently you review internal research that builds your ESG integration strategy.

09.5. Describe how ESG information is held and used by your portfolio managers.

09.6. Additional information. [Optional]

- Company information from external provider updated quarterly

- Continual update of internal rating analysis based on updates in data from external providers

-Annual fund review meetings where fund performance is discussed including standard agenda point on ESG performance and integration.

 


LEI 10. Aspects of analysis ESG information is integrated into

New selection options have been added to this indicator. Please review your prefilled responses carefully.

10.1. Indicate which aspects of investment analysis you integrate material ESG information into.

Proportion of actively managed listed equity exposed to investment analysis

Proportion of actively managed listed equity exposed to investment analysis

Proportion of actively managed listed equity exposed to investment analysis

Proportion of actively managed listed equity exposed to investment analysis

Proportion of actively managed listed equity exposed to investment analysis

10.3. Describe how you integrate ESG information into portfolio weighting.

Storebrand operates with both overall company targets and fund specific targets for clean technology and renewable energy. The company target is 3% of AUM by 2020. An example of the fund level target is the Plus fund family of Equities funds where 5-10% portfolio weighting is dedicated to clean technology and renewables companies. The selection of these companies comes from external data providers and is quality assured by the sustainable investment team.

In addition portfolio weighting for fossil free funds is significantly affected by the fossil producers analysis that effectively rules out most of the Energy sector and much of the Utilitie ssector and thus has a large effect on sector weightings within these portfolios.

10.6. Additional information. [OPTIONAL]

ESG issues influence investment decision processes in numerous ways: - group level target for average sustainability rating provides an incentive for PMs to increase average sustainability rating, and subsequently corporate issuers with a low sustainability rating relative to peers will be less attractive to portfolio managers, and corporate issuers with a high sustainability rating relative to peers will be more attractive.

  • Funds, Fund selection and Product Development Departments set specific targets for each portfolio's average sustainability rating
  • Labelling of Funds on fund platforms provide benchmarking and quarterly updates of sustainability fund ratings -
  • nvestments below a certain Sustainability Rating threshold trigger a review between the PM and the Sustainability team, where alternative investments are considered.
  • Controversial issues are discussed with responsible PMs.
  • Engagement processes involve PMs
  • Design and selection of KPIs for the Sustainability Rating is discussed with relevant PMs
  • Sustainability Ratings are available to PM teams for in-house research, benchmarking etc.
  • Excluded corporate issuers are non-investable

Top