Norway’s Oil Fund Is A Tarnished Gold Standard For Sustainable Investment
Beate Sjåfjell, 4 May 17
       

Ted McGrath/FlickrCC BY-NC-SA

The largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, Norway’s US$930 billion Government Pension Fund Global, is seen as the epitome of socially responsible finance. But if this is the best the investment world can offer, it offers scant hope that sustainability can be achieved through the influence of investors.

The fund, which owes its size to profits from Norway’s oil and gas industry, has become a powerful player in global markets since getting its first injection of capital in 1996. Despite its deep links to the fossil fuel industry, it has managed to foster a benign reputation thanks to a set of ethical guidelines and its Council on Ethics.

The Council can recommend the fund sells stakes in companies that violate the guidelines – or can place companies on an observation list. The Bank of Norway makes the final decisions. Companies – Walmart among them – can be excluded if they deal in products like tobacco or weapons, or if their conduct leads to things like environmental damage or human rights violations. Exclusions are made public, with a written explanation.

Excluded. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Tolerance levels

It is a thorough, but slow, process. It has also been criticised for being based on a so-called “overlapping consensus” approach. This means the Council might only assesses a case if, for example, a massive media reaction indicates the people of Norway find a company’s conduct intolerable.

Sign in to view full article

       
610 Office, ‘China’s Gestapo’, Is Criticized by Party Investigators
Working with the Chinese police, agents of the “610 Office” would break into the homes of Falun Gong practitioners, ransack ...
Larry Ong
Mon, 2 Jan 17
The Meditation That’s Banned in China, But Welcomed Around the World for Uplifting Health and Morality (Video)
Many practice meditation as a natural and cost-effective way to achieve better physical and mental health, and in ancient times ...
NTDTV
Thu, 5 Jan 17
The Phone Calls That Helped Expose Organ Harvesting in China
Drhiyuan Wang has spent more than 10 years investigating how other doctors in China have killed massive numbers of people ...
James Burke
Wed, 8 Feb 17
Is The Developed World We’ve Created Giving Us Cancer?
I had assumed that the small lump in my breast was a blocked milk duct from nursing my seven-month-old son. ...
Chelsey Kivland
Thu, 8 Jun 17
Fighting Online Trolls With Bots
The wonder of internet connectivity can turn into a horror show if the people who use online platforms decide that ...
Saiph Savage
Fri, 13 Jan 17
An Epoch Times Survey
At Epoch Times, We Care :o)
An Epoch Times Survey
Sports Elements
BUCHERER
Sports Elements