Denmark’s second-biggest commercial pension provider Danica Pension is reporting that a significant amount of its customers have opted to move their pension savings into its Danica Balance Sustainable Choice product, away from the standard pension, since 24 February.

The Danske Bank subsidiary said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on that date had led several of its clients to focus on supporting sustainable development when investing their pension savings, citing the problem of Russian gas as a particular cause for concern.

Mads Moberg Reumert, chief economist at Danica Pension, said: “The war in Ukraine has made a number of sustainability issues very concrete and current, and we can see from our figures that there has been a change in the way customers invest their pension savings.”

Danica Pension is one of several big occupational pension providers in Denmark to have introduced an alternative separate ESG, sustainable or climate product in the last two years.

Its particular product – in Danish, Danica Balance Bæredygtigt Valg – selects investments that actively contribute to making a difference to climate, environment, health, food production or other social elements, for example, and which support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the firm has said.

Customers can choose how much of their pension savings to invest in the product, and can change that proportion over time.

Danica said yesterday that an increasing amount of its customers were expressing a desire to invest with a focus on sustainability issues such as climate, environment and health, and that since the outbreak of war, 15% more customers had actively chosen to invest their pension via Danica Balance Sustainable Choice.

“When our clients talk to our pension advisers about sustainability, the question of our dependence on Russian gas comes up a lot, partly because it has been a focus of the news coverage of the war,” said Moberg Reumert.

In this way, customers choosing to invest in sustainability themes was therefore a desire to make sure their savings focus on contributing to the green agenda, he said.

“But we are also seeing a focus among our clients on very fundamental human rights, because the war has made that question very concrete for people,” he said.

Read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine