“We started by integrating sustainability into our equity management on a broader scale during 2015. Since then we have raised the bar and we are now working to secure that sustainability is a natural part of all our management," says Christina Strand Wadsjö, investment specialist within ESG.
In 2008, SEB signed the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Since then, SEB has reported yearly on how the bank complies with the six principles of responsible investment.
The criteria for achieving the highest ratings develop continuously and the demands increase in line with developments in the sustainability area. It's no longer just about integrating sustainability factors into investment strategies but also to show how these have contributed to financial return.
”The integration of sustainability into our equity management has gone from exclusion to positive selection, i.e. actively selecting companies that perform well in terms of sustainability. It has also become more important to increase transparency, for example regarding strategies and the results from SEB’s ownership dialogues”.
SEB already had top ratings (A) for the bank’s sustainability work with equity funds while the fixed income rating has been somewhat lower in previous years.
“This is partly because the fixed income integration process started later. But lately we have raised the bar and are now focusing on implementing clear ESG principles (environmental, social and economic responsibility) by applying positive selection in the management process. This work resulted in us receiving an A also for our fixed-income funds, which feels great,” says Christina Strand Wadsjö.