NORWAY - The Norwegian ministry of finance is seeking an ethical screening service for the Norwegian Government Pension Fund - Global to assess possible breaches of its guidelines concerning the manufacture of tobacco, anti-humanitarian weapons and military supplies to Burma.

Guidelines set out by the Council on Ethics for the NOK2.55trn (€304bn) pension fund aim to avoid investments in particular areas, such as weapons, which "violate fundamental humanitarian principles" such as anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions; the sale of weapons and military equipment to Burma and tobacco leaf companies and any firm that produces products made of tobacco".

It is now seeking a screening service to perform two roles:

Identify companies in the pension fund that may be involved in these activities and are in breach of the guidelines, and To monitor those companies already excluded from the fund's investable universe on these grounds and determine whether the exclusion is still valid.

The successful applicant will be required to monitor websites and gather corporate information, in addition to data from other sources, that will then feed into a quarterly report to the Council on Ethics.

This is the third search for a screening service on behalf of the ethical council, following the appointment of SourceAsia and CSR China in September to carry out internet-based ethical screening of the 2,300 Asian companies in the pension fund's portfolio and the decision in July to appoint Livingstone & Company to provide internet surveillance on around 8,000 companies. (See earlier IPE articles: Norway appoints SourceAsia for ethical screening and Norway global fund appoints UK ethical research firm)

The closing date for tender submissions is 7 January 2010 and further information can be obtained from the Doffin website.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email