SWEDEN – The €2.6bn Seventh Swedish National Pension Fund, AP7, has sold its shares in 26 global companies, including CocaCola, General Motors, Unilever and BP Amoco, because it claims they “failed to satisfy the fund’s environmental and ethical requirements”.

AP7 says that the weeding of its portfolio, which contains holdings form almost 2,000 companies around the world, will not have any impact on its profitability. “These sales will have no detrimental effect on the return earned on behalf of our investors,” comments Peter Norman, the fund’s director general.

According to AP7, a number of the firms violated the UN’s human rights convention, international environmental conventions and engaged in bribery and corruption. The decision to drop them from its portfolio was taken in conjunction with Stockholm-based ethical consultancy firm, Etikanalytikerna, which scrutinised the companies using a specially developed analysis model.

Says Norman: “No company will be excluded merely because it produces a certain type of product, provided it complies with laws and ordinances. The fund’s position is based solely on court decisions, official investigations and direct acknowledgement by the company’s management, not on arbitrary assessments.”

The 26 companies are: BP Amoco, Bridgestone, Chartered Semiconductors, Chevron, CocaCola, Esselte Pendaflex, Exxon, Formosa Plastic, General Motors, Goodyear, ITT Industries, Johnson Controls, Neslté, Omron, Petrobas, Rio Tinto, Sears and Target, Standard Chartered, Sumitomo, Tal isman Energy, Texaco, Total Fina Elf, Unilever, Union Carbide, Unocal and Wal-Mart.