Sustainability in Xact

Xact manages index funds and rule-based funds. Common elements across these funds are that they follow a well-defined, pre-determined index or strategy/rule and are committed to delivering returns to fund unit holders that are in line with the index or strategy/rule. Accordingly, a vital part of our sustainability work is to work actively to spur the creation of sustainability-oriented indexes and tracking based on sustainability criteria. These sustainability criteria comprise both the exclusion of companies where the index excludes companies in controversial business operations as well inclusion where the index includes companies with high sustainability ratings.

Our goal is to generate good, long-term returns, which requires that we invest in a sustainable, responsible manner. A vital part of taking responsibility as an investor is to exercise our role as owner and influence the companies in which we invest. We can accomplish this through company dialogues and corporate governance work.

Read more about corporate governance and engagements here.

All of our asset management is founded on a common value base, which is summarised in our policies for responsible investments. This means that all of our funds exclude a number of controversial business operations such as banned weapons and nuclear weapons as well as hold a restrictive position to coal mining and coal power generation. The funds also take into account international norms and conventions that include such areas as the environment, human rights, work conditions and corruption. Xact is a part of Handelsbanken and through the Bank we are committed to following a number of voluntary frameworks such as the UN initiative, Global Compact, and the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investments (PRI). These initiatives and guidelines provide guidance for our work.

Read more about Xact Kapitalförvaltning’s Policy for Responsible Investments here. 

Read more about Responsible Investments here. 

Mutual funds with specific sustainability criteria
We offer mutual funds with specific sustainability criteria that, from the outset, exclude companies in which the primary business operations are within controversial sectors such as alcohol, tobacco, commercial gaming, war materials, pornography and fossil fuels. The funds also exclude companies that are regarded as contravening international norms and conventions. As a result, the funds do not invest in companies considered to violate international norms within human rights, the environment, corruption or work conditions.

Read more about XACT Nordic High Dividend Low Volatility here.

Initiatives and collaborations

PRI (Principles for Responsible Investments) was initiated in 2006 and is a network of investors and service providers that, together with the UN, the UNEP Finance Initiative and Global Compact, work to implement principles for responsible investments. The aim is to promote responsible behaviour among financial stakeholders and drive increased transparency and awareness about the environment, social issues and corporate governance in the companies in which these stakeholders invest. Handelsbanken became a signatory of the principles in 2009. PRI has over 1,750 affiliated members from over 50 countries, which together have the equivalent of approximately USD 70 billion in assets under management.

Read more about UN PRI here.

In 2009, Handelsbanken signed the UN’s Global Compact, which is an initiative that targets companies and advocates ten principles based on international conventions. The principles were launched in 2000 and include human rights, labour law, the environment and anti-corruption.

Read more about UN Global Compact here.

Read more about initiatives and collaborations here.

Handelsbanken and the Global Sustainability Goals

In September 2015, the UN’s General Assembly adopted Agenda 2030. This initiative includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals, with 169 sub-goals, to achieve long-term, sustainable economic, social and environmental development to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce inequality and injustice in the world, and to combat climate change. Consequently, Handelsbanken’s Sustainability Committee has analysed the 17 goals with the accompanying 169 sub-goals to determine which goals we will be focusing on in our business operations and how we can integrate these into our asset management operations within the framework of the previously described sub-areas over the Bank’s key issues. The analysis was conducted based on the degree of impact, both indirect and direct, identified risks and opportunities, as well as on the Bank’s most vital sustainability issues. As a result of the analysis, we will be focusing on the following six goals:

•                          Gender equality

•                          Decent work and economic growth

•                          Sustainable industry, innovation and infrastructure

•                          Sustainable cities and communities

•                          Climate action

•                          Peace, justice and strong institutions

Read more about Handelsbanken and the Sustainable Development Goals here.