ILMARINEN REINFORCES THE CLIMATE PERSPECTIVE IN ITS INVESTMENT OPERATIONS: AIM TO DOUBLE INVESTMENTS IN SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS
Ilmarinen has adopted a Climate Policy to guide its investment operations and related concrete targets for the coming years. The goals include doubling the share of sustainable development solutions in the company’s equity portfolio by 2020. The Climate Policy also aims to guide the investee companies and asset managers to take sustainability aspects better into account.
– In addition to environmental impacts, climate change is linked to both significant financial risks and business opportunities, which must be systematically considered, says Mikko Mursula, Ilmarinen’s Chief Investment Offer.
Ilmarinen believes that climate change is a significant and long-term threat to the future of humanity and ecological sustainability. It will alter how the economy and many companies operate in the coming years. Taking changes into account is especially important for a long-term investor such as a pension insurance company.
Investment risks can be realised, for example, when the operating environment becomes challenging for certain companies due to climate change. The value of investments may also fluctuate as a result of legislation that creates new expenses for companies and the rapidly changing views in the markets on the impacts of climate risks.
On the other hand, climate change also opens up new opportunities, for instance, for companies that generate clean-tech solutions and thereby aim to mitigate climate change or help adapt to it.
– We actively seek investees whose business relates, for example, to renewable energy, clean water or improving resource efficiency. Companies that come up with solutions to global challenges as part of their business can benefit from faster growth than the markets and can thus also be good investments, says Mursula.
Ilmarinen’s goal is to double the share of business that generates sustainable solutions in its listed equity investments from 6 per cent to 12 per cent by 2020.
Another goal is to reduce the carbon footprint of real estate investments by 10 per cent by 2020 and 20 per cent by 2025. Other goals relate to, among other things, the carbon footprint of direct securities, the share of renewable energy, energy savings in properties and forest investments.
Climate principles guide partners
The objective of the Climate Policy is to influence not just Ilmarinen’s operations, but also its partners, and thus support climate change mitigation. As an active owner, Ilmarinen strives to ensure that its investee companies take the sustainability aspects of their operations into account to an even greater extent as part of profitable business.
Ilmarinen expects, for example, the companies it has a holding in to report on their carbon footprint and other climate impacts openly and comprehensively. It is also important for the companies to assess their strategic choices and investments from a climate change perspective.
– We furthermore require that our asset managers take sustainability perspectives into account. We encourage them to assess the climate impacts of the investments and to discuss climate aspects with the investee companies, says Mursula.
Ilmarinen invests Finnish pension assets profitably and securely to ensure that future generations also receive the pension they have earned. Committing to climate targets does not mean compromising on investment return targets.
“We truly believe that taking climate change into account in investment operations is a strategic and responsible choice that will, in the long run, guarantee the best return for Finnish pensioners,” stresses Mursula.
Mikko Mursula, CIO, tel. +358 50 380 3016
Tiina Landau, Senior Advisor, Responsible Investments, tel. +358 45 671 1286