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We benefit from international standards that promote long-term

In document Responsible investment (sider 21-25)

Norges Bank refers to two further UN standards in its own principles for responsible investment.

The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights outline roles and responsibilities for states and businesses with regard to human

Establishing principles


We benefit from international

standards that promote long-term

value creation. We contribute to

the development of such standards

and publish expectations of the

companies we invest in.


rights. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has also published Principles on Promoting Responsible Sovereign Lending and Borrowing.

As a long-term and global investor, the fund has an inherent interest in sustainable development.

The Sustainable Development Goals provide a common framework for addressing key global challenges. How national authorities choose to mobilise knowledge, technology and capital to realise the goals will impact on the global economy and the fund’s long-term performance.

Development of international standards We contribute to the development of relevant international standards. We participate in consultations and engage regularly with international organisations and regulators in our most important markets.

When we meet standard setters, we are

interested to learn about their strategic priorities and specific initiatives to promote

well-functioning markets and good corporate governance. At the same time, we can

communicate our own priorities. In 2020, we had meetings with the OECD, the UN Global

Compact, the European Commission, the International Accounting Standards Board, the Global Reporting Initiative and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, as well as national standard setters in France, Germany, Sweden, the UK and the US.

We responded to 16 public consultations relating to responsible investment during the year. These consultations concerned topics that are

important to us, such as common standards for sustainability reporting, shareholder rights and responsible business practices. We publish all of our consultation responses on our website:


Common standards for sustainability reporting

Better reporting on sustainability is a priority for the fund. As an investor, we depend on accurate, relevant and timely information on the

companies we invest in. We want to understand the environmental and social issues that could affect companies’ long-term profitability, and how companies address relevant risks and opportunities. In 2020, we published a paper on sustainability reporting as part of our Asset Manager Perspective series. We noted that the quantity of reporting is increasing, but that there is a need for further standardisation to obtain information that is relevant and comparable. We called for reporting requirements based on globally accepted, financially material and standardised sustainability metrics.

Sustainability disclosures should be subjected to similar internal governance procedures to financial disclosures, with final sign-off by the board. As a starting point, companies can look to the industry-specific standards developed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Boards (SASB) and base broader environmental and social disclosures on standards from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Increasing attention is being paid to sustainable development and companies’ role in society. We responded to 13 consultations on sustainability reporting during the year. For example, we participated in consultations from the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation and the European Commission on new and more extensive standards for sustainability disclosures. Corporate sustainability reporting will be important in realising the EU’s sustainable finance strategy.

Establishing principles | Responsible investment 2020 | Government Pension Fund Global

21 Shareholder rights

Good corporate governance is essential for protecting our investments. Through our membership of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), we are helping strengthen shareholder rights in all markets. We participated in the work on updating ICGN’s Global Governance Principles during the year. We stressed the need for effective boards that are accountable to shareholders, long-term incentive plans for management, and increased corporate sustainability reporting.

In a submission to the stock exchange in Hong Kong, we argued that all shareholders in a company should ideally have equal rights. We nevertheless supported the extension of weighted voting rights for strategic shareholders subject to certain restrictions – for example, that these rights must not be perpetual but require periodic shareholder approval.

Responsible business conduct

As a long-term investor, we have an interest in responsible and transparent corporate tax practices. There is ongoing debate in many markets on how companies should report publicly on the taxes they pay.

The OECD continued its work on country-by-country tax reporting in 2020, and we responded to its public consultation in March, stressing the need for well-functioning and predictable tax disclosure frameworks.

We also contributed to a number of initiatives that aim to draw attention to how companies manage tax. Together with Dutch pension fund, ABP, we set up an investor network where we meet 20 other investors twice a year to discuss investors’ expectations of companies when it comes to tax, and to exchange experience from our dialogue with companies on tax issues.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) published a new standard on tax reporting in 2020, covering both disclosures on governance and strategy and public country-by-country reporting. GRI also published proposals to update its Universal Standards, including reporting on companies’

human rights due diligence processes. We supported the proposals, as they could contribute to better corporate reporting on respect for human rights.

We also lent our support to UN PRI’s plans to promote implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights among institutional investors. We stressed that it should base its work on existing OECD guidance but also look more closely at the options available to minority investors when it comes to encouraging companies to respect human rights. We noted that institutional investors are governed by mandates that set clear financial targets and also impose other constraints on their investment activities, such as on portfolio construction and risk exposure.

Establishing principles


Recipient Topic Submitted

IFRS Foundation Sustainability Reporting 17.12.2020

PRI PRI Signatory Survey 2020 24.11.2020

UK Financial Conduct Authority Climate-related Disclosures 21.09.2020

PRI Association Human Rights Framework for Institutional



International Corporate Governance Network Review of Global Governance Principles 15.09.2020 Global Sustainability Standards Board Revision of GRI Universal Standards 09.09.2020

The European Commission Renewed sustainable finance strategy 09.07.2020

The European Commission Report of the High-Level Forum on capital markets union


Global Reporting Initiative Work Programme 2020-2022 18.06.2020

The European Commission Revision of the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive


Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited Weighted voting rights for corporate entities 27.04.2020 Sustainable Finance Committee of

the  German Federal Government

Report of the Sustainable Finance Committee 30.03.2020

OECD Review of Country-by-Country Reporting 05.03.2020

The European Commission Impact Assessment on the Revision of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive


PRI Association Reporting Framework Review – Phase II 28.02.2020

Eumedion Non-financial reporting 01.02.2020


Establishing principles | Responsible investment 2020 | Government Pension Fund Global


Topic Organisation Description

Corporate governance

Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA)

Membership organisation for investors and companies

African Corporate Governance Network (ACGN)

Network of director membership organi-sations

Council of Institutional Investors (CII) Association of investors

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Academia-practitioner research network

Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance

Academia-practitioner research network

International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)

International association of investors

Sustainability CDP Climate; CDP Forest; CDP Water Environmental reporting initiatives

Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)

Investor initiative (Europe)

Norsif Norwegian sustainable investment forum

Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

International organisation for transparency in extractive industries

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD)

International principles

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) International principles

Transition Pathway Initiative Investor initiative on climate risk

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

International standard for sustainability reporting

United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)

Multi-stakeholder initiative for sustainable finance

UN Global Compact International principles

UN Global Compact Action Platform on Sustainable Ocean Business

Multi-stakeholder initiative for ocean sustainability

In document Responsible investment (sider 21-25)