The Dutch €238bn pension fund for the social care sector has sold all but seven of its 94 remaining oil and gas equity and credit holdings in the third stage of a major pivot of its portfolio that has seen it divest from energy majors including BP, Exxon Shell and Total. The holdings were valued at €2.8bn.

The fund will now direct its engagement programme to large-scale fossil fuel users, including power producers and manufacturers of carbon-intensive materials.

The move completes a two-year engagement programme and follows two successive waves of oil and gas divestment in October 2022 and last February, as IPE reported at the time.

Some 114 of 191 companies first contacted by PFZW in early 2022 as part of the engagement programme were deemed to have unsatisfactory CO2 transition plans, with holdings totalling €470m offloaded by autumn 2022. Stakes worth €303m in a further 78 companies were dumped by February 2023.

Holdings data for five of the seven companies still in the portfolio, last updated at end-July, states PFZW’s stakes were worth less than €100m (see table).

PFZW said in a statement that the seven are “front runners in the energy sector” and “convincingly committed to switching from fossil fuel to low-carbon energy sources”. Three credit holdings – Cosan, Graanul Invest and Raízen – are said to already produce energy from low-carbon sources. Holdings data will next be updated on 1 April.

Joanne Kellerman, PFZW board chair, said in the statement that most fossil fuel companies “are not prepared to adapt their business models” to the Paris climate goals – as the fund’s fossil fuel engagement programme had shown.

“While the largest companies in this sector do invest in sustainable forms of energy, the switch from fossil to low carbon is not nearly fast enough,” Kellerman said, calling for the biggest players to speed up their switch to cleaner energy.

The remaining seven oil and gas sector equity holdings are intended to contribute to PFZW’s stated ambition to invest 15% of assets in climate solutions by 2030. It has set a net zero target for 2050, with a 50% absolute carbon reduction by 2030 for equities, liquid credit and real estate.

This article has been amended to include holdings data for Cosan and to include reference to credit investments

PFZW’s remaining oil and gas sector holdings
Name of holding Type Holding size Company type
Cosan SA (Brazil) Credit €66.2m fuel distribution
Galp Energia SA (Portugal) Equity €3.7m integrated energy operator
AS Graanul Invest (Estonia) Credit not stated wood pellets and biomass chemicals
Neste (Finland) Equity €14.6m renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel
OMV AG (Austria) Equity €7.3m energy and chemicals
Raízen SA (Brazil) Credit not stated integrated energy operator
Worley Ltd (Australia) Equity €3.3m energy, chemicals and resources

Source: PFZW, holdings data as of 31 July 2023

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