Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the manager of Norway’s NOK11.2trn (€1.12trn) sovereign wealth fund, announced it is starting a new drive to improve business practices related to child nutrition.

Carine Smith Ihenacho, chief corporate governance officer at NBIM, said: “The rise in unhealthy diets and obesity around the world represents a new and growing challenge for children, families, society, and business alike.”

Collaborating with the charity UNICEF, the central bank subsidiary said the new nutrition and children’s rights initiative would bring food retail firms together in a network to “discuss how to assess the business risks and opportunities related to children’s nutrition, and how to contribute to improved business practices that respect children’s rights to nutrition and health.”

The manager of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global said it had invited a selection of companies in which it had holdings to join the network, and planned to hold four workshops over the next two years.

“Companies in the food retail sector can be exposed to financial and sustainability risks related to a changing food regulatory environment, public calls to take action and potential shifts in consumer demand,” Smith Ihenacho said.

NBIM said it was aiming to develop a guidance tool through its workshops, similar to that produced by its previous cooperation with UNICEF on children’s rights in global garment and footwear supply chains.

Launched in 2017, NBIM said its garment network initiative had been finalised with the publication of a compendium of company examples to address children’s rights, which it co-authored with UNICEF, in addition to the guidance tool.

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