Norway Pension Fund Drops Nine Companies

Human rights violations and involvement in nuclear weapons production among reasons for exclusion.

Norway’s $1.071 trillion Government Pension Fund Global said it has decided to exclude nine companies from the fund, and has placed one company “under observation.” 

The fund said it has excluded transport company Evergreen Marine Corp (Taiwan) Ltd., energy resource shipping company Korea Line Corp., Thailand-based dry cargo ship-owner Precious Shipping PCL, and strategic investment holding company Thoresen Thai Agencies PCL. It said its decisions for these companies was based on an assessment of the risk of severe environmental damage, and “serious or systematic violations of human rights.”

The fund also placed Korean marine transportation company Pan Ocean Co. Ltd under observation based on the same criteria, while Polish residential developer Atal SA has also been excluded due to unacceptable risk of serious or systematic violations of human rights.

The pension fund said its executive board has also decided to exclude Los Angeles-based engineering company AECOM, UK-based aerospace and defense company BAE Systems, Texas-based engineering company Fluor Corp., and Newport News, Virginia.-based shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. “because of their involvement in the production of nuclear weapons.”  The board also has decided to maintain the exclusion of Honeywell International Inc. based on the same criteria.

The executive board’s decisions on exclusion were made on the basis of recommendations from the fund’s council on ethics. While it has not conducted an independent assessment of all aspects of the recommendations, it said it is satisfied that the exclusion criteria have been fulfilled.

Norges Bank Investment Management, which established and manages the pension fund, said that before it decides to exclude a company, it considers whether the use of other measures, including the exercise of ownership rights, may be better suited. However, in these cases, the board said it concluded that it is not appropriate to use other measures.

Among the reasons the fund either excludes or puts companies on its observation list include the production of nuclear weapons and cluster munitions, coal or coal-based energy, and tobacco. It also excludes companies that have serious violations of human rights and cause severe environmental damage.




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