The Ministry of Finance has placed ethical guidelines on the management of the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) since 2004.
Ethical guidelines for the management of the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) have been in place since 2004. The Ministry of Finance considers sound financial return over time to be conditional upon sustainable economic, environmental and social development, as well as well-functioning, legitimate and efficient markets. Norges Bank decides whether to exclude individual companies from the GPFG, or place companies under observation. The decisions are based on recommendations provided by the Council on Ethics, appointed by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance.
Companies may be put under observation or be excluded if there is an unacceptable risk that the company contributes to or is responsible for: a) serious or systematic human rights violations, such as murder, torture, deprivation of liberty, forced labor and the worst forms of child labor b) serious violations of the rights of individuals in situations of war or conflict c) severe environmental damage d) acts or omissions that on an aggregate company level lead to unacceptable greenhouse gas emissions e) gross corruption f) other particularly serious violations of fundamental ethical norms.
By monitoring and excluding companies based on their products and/ or conduct, the Norwegian Government sends a message to its people that financial gain is not the only criteria valuable in their future investment and society.
Current market value of the Norwegian oil wealth is 8,226 Billion NOK. Investments are made in 8,985 companies in 77 countries.
Evidence of success
Companies with questionable activities have been banned from the investment portfolio since 2004. This successfully keeps GPFG money out of irresponsible companies.
Although GPFG investments are monitored for their responsibility, the fund is made from Norway’s oil wealth.
Potential for learning or transfer
The fund’s clear guidelines on what makes an investment irresponsible allow for transparent decision making and show that corporate responsibility is integrated into both Norwegian public and private sector. Clear guidelines for other state investment agencies can be adapted from the Norwegian guidelines.
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