In our Sustainability Report for the Third Quarter, SKAGEN CEO Tim Warrington shines a light on the dual environmental crisis we are facing, with threats to both biodiversity and climate. He also discusses the actions SKAGEN is taking to try and make a difference – both as a company and especially through the funds' active ownership.
The tortoise and the hare
Do you remember the parable of the tortoise and the hare? Most companies these days can be said to be competing in a race in one way or another in the necessary transition towards a more sustainable future. Some players are at the forefront, with revolutionary new products and solutions. Others may need more time.
Approaching this race from an investor perspective, we like to categorise companies into two baskets depending on their sustainability profile and rationale – the “hares” and the “tortoises”. The latter can sometimes be overlooked on their sustainability credentials, but they also play an important role in the sustainable transition effort.
In the report, you can also read about how SKAGEN's funds voted at general meetings and about the portfolio managers' active involvement in the companies during the quarter. We do not expect our companies to avoid controversy completely, but to be aware of potential pitfalls and act decisively when necessary. Often, it is the company’s response that leads to further engagement and dialogue.
Corporate sustainability work
Progress is also being made in our sustainability work as a company, employer, client and social actor. SKAGEN recently entered into an agreement with the sustainability consultant CEMAsys. Together, we have started a comprehensive climate audit to measure our CO2 emissions. Everything from energy consumption in our offices, to business trips and waste is included in the audit. This is so that we can find out how we can reduce our climate footprint as a company.
SKAGEN also works actively with diversity and inclusion, in addition to employee satisfaction, development opportunities and the working environment in general. Employee satisfaction and the physical environment have been more in focus in recent months, with many people working from home as a result of the pandemic.
New climate policy
During the quarter, the Storebrand Group, which SKAGEN is part of, launched a new climate policy to intensify action against global warming and quicken the transition to a greener economy. The wide-ranging initiative will guide how SKAGEN invests in order to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The Storebrand Group is committed to having climate-neutral investment portfolios with net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 at the latest. The policy, which applies to all our funds, will see SKAGEN using our ownership position to stimulate climate practices at portfolio companies. We believe that engagement is one of the best ways to effect change and we will seek to build positive dialogue with companies and support their transition to low carbon and climate-resilient activities, both individually and through investor initiatives such as the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and Climate Action 100+. The new guidelines also tighten restrictions on companies that greatly contribute to climate change. For example, companies that lobby against the Paris Agreement will be banned from our investment universe.
You can read more about this and a number of other articles that address societal issues, the funds, our investments and the future in our Sustainability Report for the third quarter of 2020.
We hope you enjoy the report!