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Responsible investments

Our ambition is to obtain a basic knowledge of the operations of the companies we invest in and, above all, thoroughly examine the sustainability of these business operations. We apply an active asset management approach. All asset management is conducted in a responsible manner. The responsible investment process applies to all funds managed by the Bank of Åland as well as to our broader asset management business.

Since 2010, the Bank of Åland has adhered to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). This means that a review of environmental, social and governance (ESG factors) is an integral element of all our company analyses.

Principal Adverse Impact (PAI)

We note that even responsible investment activities may include elements that have negative consequences for sustainable development. We endeavour to consider the main negative consequences for sustainable development in all investment decisions to the extent this is possible, based on currently available information and data. The main negative consequences are taken into account in the Bank of Åland's investment strategy

Implementation of the investment strategy

The Bank of Åland's responsible investment efforts can be divided into different phases. Initially, we aim to exclude companies involved in the production of controversial weapons, pornography, gambling, tobacco and thermal coal. In addition, we are selective about holdings in companies involved in the production of alcoholic beverages.

The process of analysing individual potential investments not only identifies and takes into account financial risks and opportunities, but also relevant sustainability factors that may have an impact on the company in question. To achieve a systematic approach and a deeper analysis, we collaborate with external system suppliers MSCI and Morningstar concerning the analysis of sustainability factors for companies globally. This collaboration also gives us access to tools to evaluate our handling of sustainability issues in managed funds and portfolios.

Of the negative sustainability impacts defined in the new EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), we currently consider the following factors:

    • Carbon dioxide intensity

    • Carbon dioxide emissions

    • Violations of the UN Global Compact

    We offer solutions to our customers aimed at contributing to global climate transition through the continuous development of a sustainable investment product range. For more information and reported values regarding the carbon intensity of mutual funds, see the Bank of Åland's Sustainability Report. Information on carbon dioxide emissions can be found in the consolidated financial statements. The data cover all of the Bank’s mutual funds and model portfolios, but external funds are excluded due to missing or sub-standard coverage in third-party data. The list of factors taken into account is constantly evolving and being updated.

    In managed portfolios and in investment advisory services that include exchange-traded funds (ETFs), our ambition is to select ETFs that consider sustainability factors to the extent possible. However, ETFs that consider sustainability factors may not currently be available in all individual sectors.

    We report our responsible investment work through the UNPRI's annual self-assessment, which is published externally, and in the Sustainability Report of the Bank’s mutual funds. Climate-related issues are increasingly emphasised.

    Sustainability in investment advisory services

    In investment or insurance advisory services, our responsible investment process – including the principal adverse impacts on sustainability factors − is reflected in the whole broad range of financial products on which we provide advice.

    We are an active owner

    We want to actively contribute to creating a better, more sustainable society. We thus behave actively in the companies in which our funds have a significant ownership stake.

    Since 2010, we have been one of the founding members of Finland's Sustainable Investment Forum (Finsif). In addition, since 2016 we have been members of Sweden's Sustainable Investment Forum (Swedif), in order to help provide information, stimulate discussion in the community and influence attitudes about responsible long-term investments in Finland and Sweden.

    On ownership issues, Ålandsbanken Funds Ltd (Ålandsbanken Fondbolag Ab) acts in keeping with the principles set out in its Ownership Policy document. As a rule, the Bank of Åland Plc does not exercise shareholder involvement in the companies invested in on behalf of customers, in accordance with the Bank's principles regarding capital management and corporate governance. We provide information about both Ålandsbanken Funds Ltd’s Ownership Policy and the Bank of Åland's principles regarding capital management and corporate governance on our website.

    Sustainability risks are included in the Bank of Åland's remuneration policy

    We believe that the remuneration of employees should be designed in such a way that it does not counteract the long-term interests of the Bank of Åland. Our remuneration system shall be designed so that it does not promote interests that conflict with the interests of customers or encourage excessive risk-taking regarding sustainability risks.

    We continuously train our staff in the field of responsible investments.

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