Swedish member of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), The Folksam Group, has acquired bonds issued by the World Bank (IBRD) in a private placement to a value of USD 350 million. Through this investment The Folksam Group aims to highlight the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with particular emphasis on four of them.
“Working for a sustainable world is at the core of The Folksam Group’s values. The 17 SDGs constitute a solid foundation for achieving sustainable development within business and society. While we support all 17 SDGs, through engagement with our clients, we have chosen to focus on four specific SDGs within our sustainability strategy. These are good health and well-being, gender equality, responsible consumption and production and climate action,” says Jens Henriksson, CEO of The Folksam Group (pictured above at the ICMIF Biennial Conference in 2017).
The investment of USD 350 million corresponds to almost SEK 2,8 billion and is the third investment of this size made by The Folksam Group with the World Bank Group as issuer.
“I am very pleased with the close cooperation between ourselves and The World Bank Group. It is completely in line with our vision of enabling our customers to feel secure in a sustainable world. Throughout the past 10 months we have invested approximately SEK 8 billion in World Bank bonds. Through our investments we express our strong support for the important work of The World Bank,” says Jens Henriksson.
The World Bank issues between USD 50-60 billion in the global capital markets every year, and proceeds of all its bonds support development programs that are aligned with the SDGs. This includes, for example, projects that are creating access to health care for uninsured women and children in Argentina, improving the quality of primary and maternal healthcare in Swaziland, improving waste management in six urban districts in China, improving the delivery of water and sanitation in India and supporting the rehabilitation of a coral reef in Indonesia.
Speaking on behalf of ICMIF, CEO Shaun Tarbuck said, “We are delighted that Folksam is showing such great leadership in supporting the SDGs through this investment in the World Bank bond. This investment ties in with everything that ICMIF is doing on the international stage through the promotion of sustainable investments and also our work in improving risk resilience around the world through partnership with the Insurance Development Forum (IDF)”.
“ICMIF and a great number of its members already have a very strong reputation for our work in sustainability,” Shaun Tarbuck continued. “Indeed ICMIF was a founding members of the UN’s Environment Programme (UNEP) Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), a clear sign of our commitment to encourage more of our members to truly embrace sustainable investments. This is an area where our principles and values directly link to business practices, and put cooperatives and mutuals in the forefront of developments in sustainable investments.”
“The global community has made an ambitious commitment to achieve the SDGs, and this requires a new way of looking at development finance. Through our partnership with The Folksam Group, we are able to offer a bond that supports specific development priorities for Swedish investors while raising funding for all our operations that are aligned with all SDGs. Engagement with investors like The Folksam Group is key to linking investment to impact, defining effective reporting mechanisms and supporting the development of sustainable investment products and capital markets,” says Arunma Oteh, World Bank Vice President and Treasurer.
“To achieve the SDGs, we have to focus on building capacity of development actors at the local level to finance and deliver services that change the lives of people in their communities. By working with investors like The Folksam Group, we can leverage capital markets globally to support action towards the SDGs locally,” says Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, UN Relations and Partnership.
References to the specific projects mentioned above can be found here:
Healthcare for Women and Children in Argentina (SDG 3 and SDG 5)
Waste Management and Recycling in China (SDG 3, SDG 12 and SDG 13)
Water and Sanitation Improvement in Rural India (SDG 3 and SDG 12)
Folksam is a customer-owned company offering insurance policies and pension investments. Almost one in two Swedes is insured with Folksam, and we the company is one of the largest asset managers in Sweden. Folksam's vision is that customers should feel secure in a sustainable world.
Folksam Life’s share is USD 155 million, Folksam General’s is USD 50 million, and KPA Pension’s share is USD 145 million.