Nordea Life & Pension Sweden announced it shifted SEK22bn (€2.1bn) of investments in the first six months of this year from traditional investments to sustainable investments with a low carbon footprint and strict sustainability criteria.

The Nordea banking group unit said the move, which it described as its biggest investment change ever, followed a SEK7bn shift along the same lines in 2018.

Peter Sandahl, head of sustainability at Nordea Life & Pension Sweden, said: “This is an important part of our climate strategy together with our continued active ownership and advocacy work.”

Switching the SEK22bn of investments had reduced the portfolio’s carbon footprint by approximately 50%, the pension provider said. The work was part of a more comprehensive climate strategy, it said, aimed at ensuring that that its aggregated investments did not contribute to global warming exceeding 1.5 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels –  corresponding to the more ambitious Paris agreement target.

Johan Nystedt, the company’s chief executive, said Nordea Life & Pension Sweden saw a clear increase in interest in sustainable savings, as well as a sharp increase in customer demand for  sustainable pension products.

“We are also convinced that it is positive for the long-term return for our customers to integrate sustainability into our investment strategy,” he said.

At the end of last year, Nordea Life & Pension Sweden managed SEK131bn of assets.