Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Co., Helsinki, will start excluding banks and other financers of fossil fuel energy, it said Friday in a statement.
Varma, which managed €56.4 billion ($54.9 billion) at the end of September, will now "monitor more closely" how much financing that banks acting as its investment brokers provide to companies that rely on coal and oil in their operations. Through monitoring and possibly negative screening, the objective is "to persuade banks to stop financing polluting forms of energy," it said.
Varma officials said they will look at how much a bank receives in commissions for financing fossil-based fuel production and compare that share to financing given to other companies. Companies that significantly fund fossil fuel production will be placed on an observation list, and "if a blacklisted company does not change its ways, we will no longer trade with that party," said Vesa Syrjäläinen, development manager for responsible investment at Varma, in the statement.
Curbing the financing of coal power should increase the attractiveness of climate-friendly forms of energy, such as wind and solar power, Hanna Kaskela, sustainability director for Varma, said in the statement.
Varma's climate goal is to reduce the investment portfolio's absolute emissions by 25% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, compared to 2021 levels, and to have a carbon-neutral investment portfolio by 2035.
"In addition to our own climate targets, we will start demanding more ambitious climate actions from our co-operation partners. We are also developing our value chain, meaning we will require sustainability from the partners we buy services from," Ms. Kaskela said.