The DNRF’s responsible investment policy

Responsible investment policy

The Danish National Research Foundation’s (DNRF) responsible investment policy and the goal of acting as a responsible investor are an integral part of the foundations overall investment principles and strategy.

The DNRF acts as a responsible investor by investing in companies that live up to common internationally accepted principles and norms for treating environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and by not investing in companies involved in the production of controversial weapons.

When investing in government bonds, the foundation only invests in government bonds issued by countries that act in accordance with internationally recognized principles of good governance and human rights and where the country or the key individuals in the country are not subject to UN or EU financial sanctions.

The following is relevant for the foundation’s investments in equities and corporate bonds:

The guidelines

The guidelines are based on well recognized principles, guidelines, conventions and international ESG standards.

When investing the portfolio managers of equities and credit bonds must:

  • strives to live up to the United Nations Global Compact principles and/or OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
  • not invest in companies that violates broadly accepted international weapon-related conventions.
  • not invest in producers of nuclear weapons in violation of the treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Furthermore when investing, most of the portfolio managers of equities and credit bonds live up to the following:

  • The ILO conventions on labor rights.
  • Exclusion of companies with high extraction of thermal coal.

The individual portfolio managers may have further criteria they use when investing.

Implementation

The regulatory framework states that the DNRF shall use external portfolio managers for all the investments. The external portfolio managers are also responsible for the implementation of the responsible investment policy.

For cost reasons, the foundation often invests in mutual funds. It is not possible as a minority investor (such as the DNRF) in a mutual fund to determine the mutual fund’s policy for responsible investments. The consequence is that each portfolio/mandate does not have exactly the same policy for responsible investments.

When the foundation chooses a mutual fund, the portfolio manager’s/mutual fund’s policy for responsible investments is an important selection criterion in the overall assessment of the manager of the mutual fund. It is a requirement that the foundation’s portfolio managers of equities and credit bonds as a minimum live up to the DNRF’s responsible investment policy and guidelines.

The DNRF portfolio managers of equities and credit bonds screen the portfolios on a regular basis to identify companies that violate the above-mentioned principles and conventions.

On this basis and the engagement with the company, the portfolio manager decides which companies should be excluded based on the mutual funds responsible investment policy. Therefore, the exclusion lists may vary from portfolio to portfolio.

Engagement

Udførelse af aktivt ejerskab er en del af at være en ansvarlig investor. Derfor er fondens eksterne porteføljeforvaltere ansvarlige for at:

  • have en dialog med de virksomheder, der ikke lever op til ESG-politikken.
  • anvende stemmerettigheder i vigtige spørgsmål.

Fondens porteføljeforvaltere har løbende en dialog med de virksomheder, der er investeret i. Her stilles der krav til virksomheden, hvis virksomheden ikke handler i overensstemmelse med politikken for ansvarlige investeringer. Målet er at få virksomheden til at agere i overensstemmelse med politikken. Det aktive ejerskab baserer sig på den enkelte porteføljeforvalteres politik på området.

Det er DGs mål at udnytte så mange af stemmerne på generalforsamlingerne som muligt. Porteføljeforvalterne overvåger løbende punkterne på generalforsamlingerne og udnytter stemmeretten på de fleste af punkterne.