Two Danish pension funds have banded together to press Denmark’s DSV to better document its human rights work, partly because of the logistics and transport company’s planned work to help build a new giant city in Saudi Arabia – a project they said carries climate and human rights risks.

AkademikerPension said today that, together with LD Pensions (LD Fonde), it had put forward a shareholder proposal for DSV’s 14 March annual general meeting (AGM) specifically asking the Danish company to expand reporting on how it identified and handled human rights risks.

DSV’s board has already said it backs the proposal, the pension fund said.

AkademikerPension, the DKK133bn (€17.8bn) labour-market pension fund for academic degree holders, said: “DSV has already undertaken to respect human rights and carry out so-called ‘due diligence’ in line with the UN’s Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business, but we still lack adequate reporting and thus documentation that the company handles these risks adequately.”

It said one of the reasons for the shareholder proposal was DSV’s large-scale collaboration with Saudi company NEOM to build a new giant city – named The Line – in Saudi Arabia.

Anders Schelde, chief investment officer at AkademikerPension, said: “It is no secret that we, with our responsibility glasses on, look at that collaboration with great concern.

“It is well known that Saudi Arabia has a strained relationship with human rights and the Paris Agreement,” he said.

Asked for comment, Flemming Ole Nielsen, EVP, investor relations at DSV told IPE: “When looking at the largest and most widely acknowledged ESG rating bureaus (MSCI, Sustainalytics, Ecovadis), DSV is rated among the best companies in our industry.”

He said there was always room for improvement, but DSV had been working in this area for many years.

”We appreciate the ongoing dialogue we have with our investors,” he said, adding that the ESG field was constantly evolving, and DSV had set ”ambitious targets”.

”Human rights and working conditions are both very important areas to us, and as stated in the convocation of our 2024 Annual General Meeting, the DSV board of directors supports the proposal made by AkademikerPension og LD Fonde,” Nielsen said.

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