Norway: Pension Fund Divests from Alcohol Industry
KLP, Norway’s largest pension fund, will no longer invest in alcohol manufacturers and gambling companies. As a first step, KLP recently sold stocks and bonds in such firms worth about $320 million.
KLP has added 90 companies of alcohol and gambling industries to their exclusion list alongside industries it previously divested from.
Regarding their decision, KLP said it did not want to make money from products that can harm people who are vulnerable to addictions. Further adding that there are better ways in which pension savings can make a sustainable contribution to society.
KLP has around $80 billion in assets under management and reports they consulted customers and owners before taking this decision.
Unethical businesses excluded
Among the excluded companies were spirits and beer maker Diageo, beer giants such as Carlsberg and Heineken, casino group Wynn Resorts, as well as the online gambling firm Betsson.
This is not the first time a financial institution divested from Heineken. In 2018, The Dutch Bank ASN announced its decision to divest from Dutch beer giant Heineken. The reasoning was Heineken’s unethical business practices using beer girls to promote the product in Africa.
Big Alcohol while causing health, social and economic costs to countries and individuals have continuously been caught up in unethical business practices ranging from tax evasions to human rights violations. Divesting from such companies is a responsible step financial institutions can take against the growing harm done to people and specially vulnerable groups globally.