Danica Pension in Denmark has announced it is blacklisting tobacco, divesting from all companies that generate more than 5% of turnover from tobacco products or e-cigarettes, after a decision based on customer feedback.
A spokesperson for the Danske Bank pensions subsidiary told IPE that before starting the divestment process, it had investments totalling DKK300m (€40m) in the sector across 66 companies.
Anders Svennesen, Danica Pension CIO, said: “Based on our ongoing dialogue with customers about their needs and wishes, and an overall assessment of how we can ensure the best possible long-term return, it makes good sense to exclude tobacco from investment.”
Tobacco will be removed from Danica’s equity and bond investments and will become the latest addition to the pension fund’s current list of investment restrictions, alongside thermal coal, tar sands and controversial weapons.
According to Danica Pension’s definition for the purposes of the blacklisting, tobacco products are items made wholly or partly from leaf tobacco, and include electronic cigarettes and other “next generation” tobacco products.
The tobacco sector has been dropped by many of the world’s large pension players, including France’s pension fund for civil servants ERAFP and the UK’s largest defined contribution master trust the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST).
Danica, which is Denmark’s second largest commercial pension provider with around DKK450bn in assets, said this exclusion will be implemented in the near future.