Sweden’s AP7 has put its own climate lobbying activities under the microscope to set a good example to other organisations, as part of its work around the global climate lobbying standard it helped establish.

The Global Standard on Responsible Climate Lobbying (GSRCCL) was launched in March 2022 by major investor networks initiated by AP7, the Church of England Pensions Board (CEPB) and BNP Paribas Asset Management.

The SEK905.2bn (€79.8bn) Swedish pension fund, which manages the default option in the country’s first-pillar premium-pension system, said today that the aim of the standard was to give investors and companies a common framework for reporting their climate lobbying in a transparent way.

Charlotta Dawidowski Sydstrand, head of ESG at AP7, said the fund had compiled the report entitled AP7 Public Policy Dialogue and Climate Lobbying, in which it had examined how well AP7 fulfilled the 14 GSRCCL criteria.

“Since AP7 is a government agency, some of the criteria are difficult to apply,” she said.

“But we have made the report to set a good example by increasing our own transparency and identifying areas for improvement and more in-depth work,” said Dawidowski Sydstrand.

In the report, AP7 said that as well as using active ownership tools to encourage portfolio companies to perform responsible climate lobbying, it also acted as a social stakeholder that could influence decision-makers in climate issues – and that the report probed this latter role.

The pensions giant said its sustainability work, and specifically efforts to identify and inventory climate lobbying, had “a strong position internationally”, citing the latest report by independent organisation Influence Map which, it said, called the pension fund’s work a “clear example of best practice in strongly climate-adapted trusteeship or corporate commitment”.

Based on the GSRCCL’s 14 criteria, AP7 said in today’s report, it could be confirmed that it engaged in responsible climate lobbying in line with relevant climate goals.

“No deviating attitudes or actions can be identified in the organisations of which AP7 is a member,” said the Swedish pension fund that is the country’s second-biggest after Alecta.

“However, there is a need, going forward, to increase transparency and evaluation of the area, since this has not been done systematically thus far,” AP7 said in the report.

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