Matter wiki

Matter wiki

What makes a pension sustainable?

A positive difference

Sustainability is something people often connect with switching off the lights, biking instead of driving a car, and sorting out waste. But your pension plan can also make a lasting difference for the world.

Your pension plan is invested in many different stocks and bonds – no matter which pension provider, you have. The investments help companies develop and grow, and hence, as a society, our pension savings have a big impact. In Denmark we have some of the world’s largest pensions savings, so where you place your money really matters.

Today, however, all Danish pension funds invest far more in coal, oil and gas than they ought to, if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. And as a pension customer, you can’t do anything about it.

We want to change that.

Together with our partner AP Pension, we have created a sustainable pension plan, where your money is invested according to three key principles:

  1. No more investments in harmful companies
    No investments in companies producing fossil fuels, weapons or tobacco.

  2. Higher standards for ethics and responsible business practices
    Your money is invested with high concern for human rights and responsible business practices.

  3. More sustainable investments
    More of your money is invested in companies producing green energy, new technologies, medicine and health care solutions.

How does Matter and AP Pension select sustainable investments?

Together with AP Pension we ensure sustainability and responsibility by thoroughly screening the companies your pension is invested in. We have defined a list of criteria based on international UN agreements on areas such as human rights, climate and environment. We actively exclude harmful companies and include companies that base their business on sustainability and responsibility.

In our partnership with AP Pension, Matter takes care of screening investments, while AP Pension is responsible for managing the assets and pursuing the highest possible return.

What do you avoid in your investments?

There are a lot of things that we in Matter and AP Pension together avoid investing in. We will not accept companies that produce weapons, tobacco and fossil fuels, and we screen out companies that do not respect human rights or are known to be involved in corruption. In addition, more of your money will be invested in companies that produce climate and environmentally friendly technologies, medicine and health care solutions. In short, we do our best to ensure that your money is invested in line with the UN Sustainable Development goals.

It is particularly important to us that your money is not invested in the extraction and production of fossil fuels. Today, Danish pension funds over-invest so heavily in oil, coal and gas, that a Dane owns 4-5 times more fossil fuel than what the energy companies can extract and emit, if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. This is no news, and even the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, warned against investments in coal and oil back in 2014.

Unfortunately, many funds and investors today talk about sustainability without taking the challenge seriously. We want you to be the judge of our efforts, and have a look for yourself: On our digital platform, which you find under “My Overview” in the upper right corner, customers can see the difference their money is making, as well which companies their savings are invested in. You can of course also see your savings, insurances, etc., but that is nothing new.

We are not perfect!

But we are trying. We strive for sustainability and responsibility by thoroughly screening the companies your pension is invested in. We do so with data on the environmental impact of companies, as well as analyses performed by NGOs and leading responsible investors around the world. Since our analyses depend on the quality of the data we use, a mistake in the data could potentially lead to an unwanted investment finding its way through our filter, and into the fund, your money is invested in.

Data quality is one thing. Another thing is the reality of the financial markets. AP Pension needs to ensure that the investment fund meets a series of financial criteria, which requires that your money is invested in hundreds of different companies, and that entails some compromises. Among other things, some of your money will be invested in companies in the financial industry that do not actively promote sustainability, as well as in large technology companies. Also, it is possible that one of the companies your money is invested in merges with another company, so that one of your investments suddenly includes e.g. a fossil fuel reserve. If that happens, we will make sure to let you know, and do everything we can to find an alternative together with AP Pension.

Still some questions?

Contact us