Varma Sharpens Climate Strategy

Finnish pension insurance company Varma has announced its plans to reduce its investment portfolio emissions by 25% by 2025 and 50% by 2030 compared to 2021 levels. The new commitment covers all asset classes in the portfolio, including unlisted investments. Last year Varma had reduced the carbon intensity of its listed equity and corporate bond investments by 30% and 23% from a 2016 baseline respectively. Varma is also introducing a stricter criteria for negative screening, with the firm noting that investments in coal and oil exploration “do not play a strategic role in Varma’s investment operations”. Varma’s Sustainability Director Hanna Kaskela said: “Achieving a carbon neutral investment portfolio by 2035 requires significantly reducing GHG emissions within all asset classes. In addition, the share of investments classified as carbon sinks, such as forest investments, should be significantly increased in the portfolio. Reducing carbon intensity alone is no longer enough: emissions must also be reduced in absolute terms.” The portfolio is valued at close to €58 billion. 

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