Norway’s KLP (US$80 billion AuM) divests from almost 90 alcohol & gambling companies
Norway’s largest pension fund, KLP (US$80 billion AuM) is selling out of companies that derive their turnover or activity from alcohol and gambling. Pornography is also added to the list although KLP was not invested in such companies.
KLP's CEO Sverre Thornes said:
“We manage around US$80 billion for more than 1 million Norwegians. It is a great responsibility, and we therefore regularly consider whether we do this in a good enough way. This is not just about what gives the highest return, but also about our investments contributing to positive and sustainable social development. Now, after deep conversations with our customers and owners, we have decided to withdraw from alcohol and gambling, while at the same time ensuring that we still do will not invest in pornography.”
All of KLP funds under its management are therefore selling out of companies that have more than five per cent of the revenues from the production of alcohol and gambling. The decision comprises approximately 40 companies that produce alcohol and about 50 companies within gaming, including Norwegian Arcus and Gaming Innovation Group.
KLP's investments in these two sectors combined were US$320 million (just under NOK 3 billion).
“Responsible alcohol consumption and gambling can be positive elements in people's lives. We acknowledge, however, that alcohol and gambling addiction have major negative consequences for individuals and their loved ones, as well as great costs for society. With these changes we want to invest the pension funds we manage in other businesses, which to a greater extent contribute to a safe and better world for everyone.”
Figures from the World Health Organization show that five percent of the world's deaths each year are due to alcohol. In Norway, more than half of all cases of violence involve alcohol, and alcohol-related costs are estimated at US$2 billion (NOK18 billion) annually in Norway alone.