Swedish ICMIF member Folksam has today announced it is investing SEK 474 million in the Swedish government’s first green bond. This is a green bond that will contribute to Sweden’s environmental and climate goals through climate investments, railway maintenance and by protecting nature.
The state’s first green bond is worth SEK 20 billion and has a maturity of 10 years. In June this year, the Swedish government decided on the framework and the selection to which the money from the bond will be linked.
“Sustainability is an issue that we at Folksam have been committed to for a long time. We see that the Swedish state issues a green bond that can be so firmly linked to different types of climate investments. We constantly strive for our customers to receive good pensions and at the same time contribute to a green transformation of society,” said Michael Kjeller, Deputy CEO and Head of Asset Management and Sustainability at Folksam.
Investors must be able to follow which government expenditures the bond is linked to and which environmental and climate effects are achieved. The framework was assessed as “dark green”, the highest level, by the external consultancy Cicero, Norway’s leading institute for interdisciplinary climate research.
Folksam is one of Sweden’s leading investors in green bonds. To date, Folksam has invested SEK 30 billion in green bonds.
Earlier this month, Folksam announced an SEK 10 billion investment in the real estate credit fund Brunswick Real Estate Capital III (BREC III). This is Folksam’s single largest investment ever. The fund will focus on commercial properties with clear sustainability goals.
In May of this year, Folksam announced that it had invested SEK 2.5 billion (USD 260 million) in a green bond issued by Kommuninvest. This brought the total amount invested in Green Bonds by Folksam Group to SEK 30 billion (USD 3.1 billion), making it one of the leading insurers in terms of green bond investments.
In March, Folksam invested SEK 700 million (USD 70 million) in a social bond issued by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, to provide financial support to companies affected by the Covid-19 pandemic; and in April, it invested a further SEK 900 million (USD 90 million) in a bond issued by the Nordic Investment Bank and SEK 100 million (USD 10 million) in a bond issued by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Ylva Wessén, CEO and President of Folksam, will be a speaker in one of the forthcoming ICMIF Sustainable Investment Leaders webinars. This series of four webinars (21-23 September 2020) will offer an opportunity to hear best-practice from the mutual/cooperative sector and other industry leaders to help ICMIF members increase their sustainability engagement and drive leadership in all aspects of responsible investing and sustainable finance. The webinars are specifically aimed at investment, finance and sustainability professionals from ICMIF member organisations, but they are open to all employees at ICMIF members who have an interest in these topics.
Ylva will take part in the webinar on “Green bonds and why organisations should invest in them” on Tuesday 22 September at 10am BST (UK time).