15 Comments »

  1. Hey thanks for your informative angle, I’m a regular reader so I decided to put a link up to your blog from my website here: http://hongkong.property-x.net/recommended-reading ….my profession is not directly related but I think my readers would enjoy following your musings too, I hope you don’t mind!

    Comment by Hong Kong Property — Tue, March 8, 2011 @ 14:21

  2. How Do I Stop Taking Wellbutrin Xl Quit Smoking Medications Promoting Testosterone Muscle Mass Analysis Of Sildenafil Citrate generic pepcid for dogs. Prevent For Migraine Headaches Percocet 10 325 Magnesium Information On Bactrim Ds Drug Class Of Caffeine . Plant Helps Asthma Vasotec Reviews Drug Interactions . Yasmin Diamond Communication Death By Lorazepam leverans nästa dag om female viagra Inderal Forclusion Pharmacy Ginseng For Cancer Centuries Have Caffeine Extra Strength Tylenol Acetaminophen Third Trimester

    Comment by BoroberoMer — Fri, September 27, 2013 @ 06:17

  3. Nettle Root And Rogaine Amoxicillin Symptoms What Ramipril Weight Loss Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Buy Amoxicillin No Prescription In Uk. Atorvastatin Calcium Impotence Osteoporosis From Milk Bone Density Prednisolone And Exercise Med Sci Sports Exerc Skin Care Associates Ma Thermage . Prozac Study Antidepressant Medications Cymbalta Hydrocodone Interaction . Most Successful Hair Loss Drugs Indocin Use In Preterm Labor Safe Place To Buy Xanax Online Does Albuterol Effect Drug Test Health Aspirin Overdose Ican Asthma Too Declomycin No Prescription Rates

    Comment by reilerrombord — Fri, December 6, 2013 @ 01:14

  4. Remedies For Hair Loss In Women How Does Arthritis Dictionary Your Life . Atorvastatin And Gemfibrozil Metoprolol Aspirin Drug Interactions Amoxicillin No Prescription Needed Prilosec No Prescription Anti Basicity Vigrx Results Perm Hyaluronic Acid Injections Side Effects Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs What Is The Best Blood Pressure Monitor Reviews . Lexapro Average Weight Gain Linezolid No Prescription Cheap Tonalin Cla 1000 Mg Dietary Supplement Alli Pills South Africa. Glucotrol How It Works Herbalife Weight Loss Success Stories Protein Powder Glyburide No Prescription Wholesale Bicalutamide Side Effects Heart .

    Comment by Sharoncon — Sun, February 9, 2014 @ 22:56

  5. Thanks very interesting blog!

    my page :: norske casino free spins

    Comment by norske casino free spins — Mon, June 16, 2014 @ 14:45

  6. canadian pharmacy online pharmacy without a prescription

    Comment by canadian pharmacy — Tue, March 31, 2015 @ 04:26

  7. garcinia cambogia extract pure garcinia cambogia

    Comment by garcinia cambogia — Sat, April 11, 2015 @ 05:58

  8. cialis barato 697240 viagra generico ezvnpw genericos viagra 526206, http://genericodeviagra.com pastillas viagra

    Comment by dsn80s — Thu, August 20, 2015 @ 03:12

  9. pharmacy online without prescription online pharmacy no prescription

    Comment by canada pharmacy no prescription — Thu, September 3, 2015 @ 11:24

  10. best canadian online pharmacy canada pharmacy online online pharmacy online pharmacy

    Comment by canadian pharmacy free shipping — Mon, October 26, 2015 @ 23:45

  11. cialis over the counter cheap cialis

    Comment by cialis online — Fri, December 4, 2015 @ 00:07

  12. Hi there
    My page viagra over the counter walmart, viagra without a doctor prescription, online pharmacy, viagra price, dapoxetine.

    Comment by priligy — Mon, February 29, 2016 @ 00:05

  13. Hey dude, Whats up?
    Here is my Care2: viagra walmart, prescription without a doctor’s prescription, online pharmacy, viagra price, dapoxetine.

    Comment by viagra samples — Mon, February 29, 2016 @ 00:08

  14. Call me!
    Visit my tagged: walmart viagra, viagra without prescription, 24 hour pharmacy, viagra cost per pill, dapoxetine.

    Comment by walmart pharmacy viagra cost — Mon, February 29, 2016 @ 00:11

  15. 861617 dapoxetine 185954 cialis vs viagra rycnus over the counter viagra tbq21p viagra from canada 612270 http://priligydapoxetineusa.com/ priligy

    Comment by priligy — Wed, March 2, 2016 @ 16:06

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

We question you

2010-04-13

Good morning Mr. Lars-Åke Vikberg, CEO of KPA Pension AB. You just ran out of places to hide.

What does ”responsible placing” mean to you? To us it sounds like whoever entrust you with their pension can be sure that you place it in ethical companies and organizations. That the reason for choosing your services before any of your competitors is that you – besides doing good investments – also do investments for good.

Well, that’s not the whole truth is it? A quick-peek at your so-called “ethical” placement top 5 reveal among others H&M, Ericsson and Nordea. Solid corporations we bet, but ethical? Just because they’re not in the field of guns, drugs, porn or gambling does that make them ethical? Maybe your proposition should be “we invest in normal companies just like everybody else” or ­– if you’re feeling creative – “we don’t invest in anything unethical”.

And another thing, why is your website filled with random pictures of bobcats and elks? Are they a way of covering up your lack of real sustainability commitment? So you’re an Amnesty Business Group member. Big whoop.

Look, it’s actually quite simple. The way you act is the way you communicate. And if you claim you’re sustainable, you better deliver on that claim.

At Berghs School of Communication we have realized that our future depends on honesty. We’re tired of being asked to lie. Tired of putting politically correct glitter on politically incorrect shit.

So we have an idea. Why don’t you come to our school and see for yourself how communication can make a difference when you have something real to say. Come and see how having a sustainable plan means having a sustainable way of making money. Come here and leave with a new inspiring perspective.

We will wait for your response, so please send it to respond@studentbyran.se. In the meantime, we will make this letter public on sustainableplan.se.

This is only the beginning. Are you in or out?

Best regards,

Studentbyrån

Link to their website

To aid us when we question companies and organizations that might not live up to their sustainable promise, we have a group of consultants with extensive experience in CSR.

Our response

2010-04-19

Hi Lars-Åke!

Thank you for response. Unfortunately we don’t feel like you have faced our criticism, nor answered any of our questions. It is of course a good thing that KPA  don’t invest in anything unethical, but claiming to invest in ethical companies, we feel, is beautifying the truth for the consumers. H&M may have good initiatives to minimize negative impact from their business, but we don’t think the awerage consumer picture H&M, Nordea or Ericsson when you talk about “ethical placement”. Had it been companies like Saltåkvarn, Wholefoods, Innocent, Ben&Jerry’s or Patagonia we would happily have cheered you on.

You talk a lot about dialogue and visions, but we miss the active, hands-on commitment. To be carbon-neutral is great, but we’re not questioning your business. We question your communication, your promises to us consumers. Porn, drugs and guns are hardly the common ground for other pension companies to invest in, so the question is – on what do you base your ethical position to the consumers?

You say that “9 out of 10 of KPA Pension’s customers consider it important that their pension is working for human rights and a better environment”. We would like a clearer response as to how you work for human rights and a better environment, based on that insight?

At the same time, you admit that “we also invest in industries where human rights are unlikely to be respected and environmental crimes are being committed – for it is doubly important to put pressure on companies in these industries.”Which basically gives you the freedom to invest in just about anything, which is something that your consumer probably neither know nor like when he/she entrust you with his/her pension. Since self-regulation never works,  one must ask who controls KPA course of action when it comes to making tough, moral decisions?

Our website had in its first week over 22 000 page views, and the project has had a lot of attention in advertising, industrial and local press. In other words: this is public.

We would appreciate a fast response.

Best regards

Studentbyrån

Your answer

2010-04-19

KPA Pension customers contribute to a better world

We are happy that the Student Agency is committed to sustainability issues. The more people who focus on sustainability, the better. Pension savings are long term – many of them of 30 to 40 years. It is therefore important for KPA Pension to make sustainable investments.

• 9 out of 10 of the KPA Pension’s customers consider it important that their pension is working for human rights and a better environment.

In particular

• KPA Pension is working to influence companies to take responsibility for human rights, environment and corruption. But we also invest in industries where human rights are unlikely to be respected and environmental crimes are being committed – for it is doubly important to put pressure on companies in these industries.

• The method of control is the ongoing dialogue with the managements of companies in which we invest, and monitor the results which are then evaluated. In Sweden, all the companies that do not quite live up to our requirements are visited. Others we reach through letters, meetings and conferences. And we are active in shareholders’ meetings.

• An example of the active influence is active dialogue with H&M. The company has worked ambitiously for years to control and manage subcontractors. For example, they recently observed violations of the Code at a factory in Bangladesh. H&M has acted forcefully and taken responsibility and our dialogue with H&M continues.

• In cases where our impact fails, despite repeated attempts, the holding is sold. For example, the tire manufacturer Bridgestone. Here the pressure failed to improve working conditions for employees and there was no alternative but to sell it’s holding. This despite the fact that it means we can no longer affect the company.

• Some companies and industries are completely excluded – such as weapons manufacture, tobacco, alcohol and gambling industry

• 1998 Environmental KPA Pension certified to ISO 14001 – the first finance company in Europe.

• in 2003 the company became carbon neutral

KPA Pension has assets over 75 billion SEK under management. One third of the world’s total stock of capital is pension money. Together, we have the power to make a difference.

Read more on our Swedish website www.kpa.se.

Best regards

Lars-Åke Vikberg

CEO KPA Pension

KPA:s response

2010-04-21

Hello again Studentbyrån,

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to clarify our response. When KPA Pension began selecting securities from an ethical perspective, twelve years ago, it was quite unique. Many still believed that ethics and money was a bad match. But we felt confident because we knew that this was exactly what our customers demanded. (If you want to know more about ethical investment, see Exhibit 1 in Swedish).

First, I would like you to remember that it is very important for our customers to have a good financial outcome of their savings. They save for their retirement. The majority of our customers work for local governments, with healthcare and education. The wage level in this sector is, unfortunately, relatively low and it is common to work part time. KPA Pension has a responsibility to place the pension savings in a responsible way, not only from an ethical perspective but also from a financial perspective. We therefore split the investments into many different shares in order to diversify the risk. The stock market is risky business. How risky, has become painfully obvious during the recent financial crisis. The option of selecting certain companies that are “best-in-class” is unfortunately not consistent with taking low risks. The more a share price swings up and down, the greater is the risk. If you have fewer shares you get more swings and you get a higher risk. KPA Pension’s board has therefore decided not to use this method as an investment strategy. (Want to know more about how we work, see Exhibit 2 in Swedish).

We love to invest in real sustainable companies, like those you listed. In fact, we already have holdings in some of your ideal businesses. Innocent, for example, is owned largely by its founder, but because they let in Coca Cola as a minority shareholder a few years ago, we indirectly own a part of Innocent. This makes us happy because by proxy is the only way for us to have an ownership. We are also pleased by the fact that Ben & Jerry’s can be found as a subsidiary in one of our major holdings. The British / Dutch company Unilever – in which we are shareholders – owns the company. Saltåkvarn is not a listed company. It is operated by anthroposophists in Järna and there is not a chance for KPA Pension to be a partner in this. The situation is the same for Patagonia. Whole Foods is an interesting company, but they produce alcohol (beer) and we don’t invest in alcohol.

You are quite right about pornographic materials, it is not common in listed companies. The situation for the weapons industry is, in contrast, the opposite. The arms industry weighs heavily in nearly every investment portfolio outside of the responsible sector. Dealing with illegal drugs is a criminal activity which has to be handled by the authorities and not by us. We, and every other investor ethical or not, expect our investment to be legal.

It is not our intention to be self-righteous in these matters. We welcome critical opinions of our work. Information from media and by individuals helps us in giving early warnings about possible problems.  We have recently been in Canada with the company of Greenpeace and WWF to study the impact of oil sand extraction.  Environmental organizations and NGOs are important to us.

I fully agree with you about the fact that investment decisions can be tricky. We have a special decision committee for this purpose. I myself am a member of that committee together with other senior directors in our company group. It is sometimes difficult to determine what’s the right decision. It is always a defeat when we decide to sell our shares in a company, because that means that we, in a way, “give up”. If KPA Pension disappears, a committed and concerned owner disappears.  When all of us are gone there is no longer an investor who calls for ethical standards.

Thank you for your comments on KPA Pension’s communication. It would be really interesting to hear your views on how we could improve our communication. I am very well aware that it would be a lot easier for us if we did what most of our competitors do and only concentrate entirely on corporate earnings and leave everything related to ethics and values for companies to solve on their own. It is encouraging that your website has had many visitors, but I’m not that surprised because I know that ethics and business interest many people. At KPA Pension, we often notice that by the reactions and questions from our customers.

Once again, I would like to welcome your fresh initiative and I think it would be very stimulating for some of my colleagues if they could to meet you in face to face to discuss your views on our communication. It would certainly be useful for us, not least for those of us who are engaged in communications. So now, I kick ball back to you, KPA Pension certainly wants to play!

Best regards,

Lars-Åke Vikberg
CEO KPA Pension