Active ownership, realised through voting at annual general meetings and dialogue with portfolio companies, is an integral part of PensionDanmark’s work on responsible investments. Our ownership role entails responsibility and rights, as these companies need owners that are willing to engage in active, constructive and at times critical dialogue.
PensionDanmark regularly screens its equity portfolio for observance of the guidelines for socially responsible investments established by the board of directors in relation to:
- Labor - and human rights
- Environment- and climate factors
- Corporate Governance
The guidelines take the generally accepted norms based on international conventions as a point of departure, including:
- UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
- UN’s Convention against Corruption
These accepted norms also shape the ten principles of UN Global Impact, the United Nations corporate sustainability initiative.
In collaboration with our external partner, Hermes EOS (Equity Ownership Services), PensionDanmark identifies the companies requiring special attention. This identification is based on a risk evaluation and an evaluation of whether the company exhibits conduct, which deviates from the shareholders best interest in regards to environmental, social and governance issues.
Dialogue is a lengthy process, in which gradual progress must be employed to foster initiatives promoting improvements. Considerable challenges arise in cases where the company’s business culture and approach to corporate governance differ from the Danish context.
To ensure the best grounds for achieving satisfying results, discussions are conducted in confidentiality, which allows the companies to engage in constructive dialogue with greater willingness.
In some instances, dialogue can be unproductive or the company may refuse to engage in dialogue, which can lead PensionDanmark to sell the shares and place the company on our Exclusion List.
PensionDanmark exerts its influence by exercising shareholder voting rights at the annual general meetings of companies.
In 2016, PensionDanmark voted at 1.583 foreign annual general meetings, of which 89 pct. of voting was with the board’s recommendations. Our external partner, Hermes EOS, votes on our behalf taking a point of departure in PensionDanmark’s own voting policy.
PensionDanmark annually publishes results of dialogue and voting in our Sustainability report.