The pensions subsidiary of Denmark’s Danske Bank has followed in the footsteps of its main rival in the Danish pensions sector, PFA, by launching a green pensions option.

Danica Pension said it had been developing the new Danica Balance Sustainable Choice pension product for a long time, in conjunction with customers.

Major Danish corporates Novozymes, Grundfos and COWI expressed their support from the new investment option, which is now available for customers to select for all or part of their savings.

Ole Krogh Petersen, chief executive officer of Danica Pension, said: “Together with our customers, we have spent a long time and many resources on developing this new investment solution, because we wanted to be absolutely certain that our customers can make a real, substantial difference in creating a more sustainable world if they want to.”

Danica Pension said that for the new product, it picked investments that actively contributed to “making a difference” regarding climate, environment, health, food production or other social areas, and which supported the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Danske Bank unit said that in recent years, it had increasingly focused on sustainable investment in its general portfolio, with investments in the green transition having more than doubled in 2020 alone and now amounting to more than DKK20bn (€2.7bn).

The new product launch was another step in this direction, it said.

Krogh Petersen said customers’ aggregate savings of DKK450bn in Danica Pension had a lot of power to influence society in a particular direction – something he said most people were unaware of.

“We want to change that through information campaigns to make our customers aware of the opportunity to invest their pension savings even more sustainably,” he said.

“It is important to state that it is not a question of either or. Our customers are free to choose what percentage of their pension savings they want to invest in Danica Balance Sustainable Choice,” he said.

Rasmus Lynge, head of labour and employee relations at Novozymes, said it was important for the biotech company to be able to offer its staff attractive pensions with the option of supporting sustainable development.

“We have not been able to do so before, but that is about to change. We are pleased that Danica Pension has listened to us,” he said in Danica Pension’s announcement.

Executives at the Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos and consultancy group COWI also said they were pleased with the new option Danica Pension was adding.

This summer, PFA’s new PFA Climate Plus market-rate pensions investment option became available to its customers, a year after AP Pension launched its AP Sustainable product.

Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.