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In September 2015, the 193 member states of the United Nations approved 17 global goals for sustainable and fair development by 2030. The goals, which replace the eight Millennium Goals, seek to abolish extreme poverty, to reduce inequality and injustice and to solve the global climate crisis. Reaching the goals requires governments, civil society and businesses to work together.

 

In 2016, leading global institutional investors attended the annual PRI conference to agree a shared definition of sustainable development investments as a means to support the Global Goals and to encourage other large institutional investors to take similar action. Afterwards, AP3 and the other Swedish AP funds joined some of Europe’s largest pension funds in signing a statement stressing the importance of institutional investors investing in solutions that promote the Sustainable Development Goals. AP3 is a member of Swedish Investors for Sustainable Development, a platform for learning and sharing information about Agenda 2030 for long-term Swedish investors and financial sector actors.

From words to action

Below we describe the key areas in which AP3 can make a difference and where we have the greatest ability to drive change on behalf of the Sustainable Development Goals. For example, in 2016 AP3 signed the Paris Green Bond Statement along with a large number of other global bond market investors to promote green bond issues as a route to financing the transition that climate change necessitates.

 

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

AP3 has invested in water infrastructure, including in water supply and water treatment. The Fund works with other investors to create further investment opportunities in the water sector.

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Solar power is becoming increasingly significant for real estate companies, and take-up of this technology is increasing as it develops and becomes more efficient. Vasakronan, owned by the AP funds, is one company championing this trend. AP3 also invests in private equity funds and in listed companies specialising in clean and renewable energy. In 2019, Polhem Infra completed its first infrastructure investment, acquiring 21% of the equity in Solör Bioenergi Holding AB, a provider of renewable district energy in Sweden and Norway

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Labour practices and health and safety are important issues that AP3 prioritises. The Fund engages with investees to combat unsafe working conditions, workplace accidents, discrimination and child labour.

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Modern and effective infrastructure promotes economic growth and development. AP3’s investments and corporate stewardship contribute to increased efficiency in resource use, higher production capacity, innovation and flexible solutions in a changing world. In 2019 AP3 partnered with AP1 and AP4 to establish Polhem Infra, an investment company that invests directly in unlisted companies that operate or provide products and services in renewable energy production, energy storage and distribution, and digital infrastructure.

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

AP3’s large investment holdings and active corporate stewardship make the Fund a strong advocate for sustainable practices. Vasakronan is a leader in energysaving and efficient offices and is a role-model for the Fund’s other real estate companies. Hemsö is active in community infrastructure and is, for example, helping to create safer school environments. The other companies in AP3’s real estate portfolio – Trophi, Regio and Trenum – are committed to resource efficiency and social responsibility.

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

AP3 owns 140,000 hectares of forest, 95% of which is environmentally certified. Sixty percent of the timber is used for building materials, furniture and home decoration, while 40% is used to make paper and paper-based products.

Goal 13: Climate action

Substantial investments by AP3 in timberland and green bonds have delivered a portfolio that today is carbon-neutral. The Fund takes account of investees’ carbon footprint and climate impacts when investing. AP3 is committed to again halving its carbon footprint by 2025, primarily by encouraging investee companies to reduce their climate impacts.

Goal 15: Life on land

Sustainable forests are good for the climate. AP3 owns 122,000 hectares of production forest that is sustainably managed. A further 6,300 hectares of forest is set aside to conserve 11 species of animal and plant and their natural ecosystems.