Swedish pensions and insurance group Länsförsäkringar said it bought SEK7.5bn (€742m) of sustainability-orientated bonds in 2020, bringing its total holdings in this type of debt to SEK17bn or 13% of its institutional life and insurance portfolios.

Länsförsäkringar said the build-up had been possible thanks to a focus on direct investment in the primary market, and a close dialogue with the issuers of bonds – which it said had been particularly important at the beginning of the pandemic.

In a statement, Länsförsäkringar said: “Together with industry colleagues, capital was mobilised and investments were made in socially-orientated bonds with the aim of mitigating the health and economic effects of the pandemic, both locally and globally.”

At the same time, the Swedish group said better data from issuers had allowed it to carry out systematic evaluations of the sustainability effects of the projects being financed by the bonds.

“With the supplementary data, as part of our integrated ESG and financial analysis, certain green bonds have been sold, primarily in the real estate sector,” said Kristofer Dreiman, head of responsible investment at Länsförsäkringar Liv.”

Dreiman said Länsförsäkringar had assessed there to be more potential to contribute to sustainable value creation if it made certain changes.

The firm said its holdings of sustainability bonds came from a total of 30 different issuers, with most of the capital allocated to the UN’s sustainable development goal number 13, followed by goal 11 and goal 7.

These three goals focus on combating climate change, sustainable cities and communities and renewable energy, respectively.

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