May 24, 2018 / 7:00 PM / a year ago

Norway's Storebrand says 8.5 pct of its assets are now in 'fossil-free' investments

OSLO, May 24 (Reuters) - Storebrand, Norway’s largest private asset manager, said on Thursday a record 8.5 percent of its assets under management were placed in funds that are “fossil-free”, due to increased demand from customers and the company’s own policies.

The Norwegian insurer, which has $89 billion (75.50 billion euros) of assets under management, two years ago launched the first of its fossil-free funds which invest in a range of sustainable stocks.

“I have never seen a group of funds grow at this rate before. From initially being a niche product, it has become an obvious building block in many sustainable investment portfolios,” said Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management.

A growing number of investors worldwide are pushing companies to reduce their carbon footprint.

Last year AP7, Sweden’s largest national pension fund, was the first investor in the world to ditch six companies from its portfolio for what it said were breaches of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.

Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund has proposed to drop oil and gas stocks from its equity index, which would mean cutting its exposure to oil and gas firms over time. The government is expected to present its view on this this autumn. (1 euro = $1.1788) (Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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