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Swedish website ranks managers’ investment funds on sustainability

The website aims to make it easier to make sustainable choices.

If you are a money manager in Sweden — be prepared. Investors in Sweden can see whether and how much of your investment funds are exposed to alcohol producers, carbon emissions, nuclear weapons and cluster munitions or tobacco via an online platform set up by the Swedish Pensions Agency.

Launched last month, the platform identifies funds from among the 648 offered by money managers in Sweden that exclude investments because of environmental factors or that have no more than 5% exposure to all or one of these factors, a Swedish Pensions Agency spokesman said. The website also allows funds with sustainability-related labels to be categorized apart from other funds, and the platform can also help savers to compare the performance of sustainable funds vs. regular funds.

The project, dubbed "Safe and More Sustainable Premium Pension System," was requested last year by the Swedish government and is aimed at making it easier for Swedes to more easily make sustainable fund choices and to inspire money managers to consider sustainability factors in their investment process by making them accountable to plan participants.

Funds featured in the online tool must have at least 500 million Swedish kronor ($54 million) in assets under management, have a least a three-year track record and be signatories of United Nations' Principles for Responsible Investment, the spokesman said. Fund managers supply the information to the agency on a regular basis through their financial report filings.

"It will now be easier for all savers who want to include sustainability aspects in their fund choices for (their) pension," said Erik Fransson, director of the Swedish Pensions Agency's fund department, in a news release.

"More and more savers include sustainability as an important variable, in addition to risk and return, in their investment decisions. You want to know what type of company and which industries you indirectly finance through your savings," Mr. Fransson added.