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You get what you measure – taking green reporting to the next level

By PensionDenmark, March 09, 2021

The Danish pension company is expanding voluntary reporting on its climate footprint. CEO Torben Möger Pedersen encourages others to follow the same path and work as chairman of the climate partnership on finance in parallel on future standards.

Torben Möger

Photo: By Ursula Bach/PensionDanmark of Torben Möger, CEO

“It’s easy enough to have a little more fluffy statements and objectives, but it only becomes serious when you start measuring on the various parameters that are included in these ESG key figures. If you do not have control of e.g. your CO2 emissions, you also have a hard time calculating whether you are moving in the right direction. ” Torben Möger Pedersen.

 Therefore, at the request of, among others, Danish Auditors, the pension company published ESG key figures for the first time in 2019, which were approved by the auditing firm EY and are based on standards that make it possible to compare e.g. greenhouse gas emissions and follow developments.

In 2020, the work has been expanded with several key figures for e.g. listed equity, investments in corporate bonds, in non-listed companies and the imprint from the portfolio of real estate. In total, Pensiondanmark today has key figures for 1/2 of the portfolio, says Torben Möger Pedersen, who encourages others to follow the same route, even though it is not yet a requirement.

“It is a prerequisite for us to move in the ambitious direction that the Danish Parliament has adopted – that we have as precise measuring tools as possible available. We hope that others do as we do and have it audited so that we have the highest assurance that the data we publish is valid ”

The discussion on common standards for corporate climate data validated by auditors is not new. A study from the Danish auditors’ trade association FSR showed last year that only 18 companies out of the 100 companies surveyed had had the results stamped by an auditor.

In the autumn, the government’s climate partnership for the financial sector, chaired by Torben Möger Pedersen, was appointed to coordinate the work of developing standards for how companies can measure and report on their CO2 emissions. Both so that the companies themselves can follow the development, but also to give investors and lenders insight into the situation.

All driven by the development towards having to measure the climate footprint, Torben Möger Pedersen believes and at the same time points to the reduction of 70 per cent. in 2030, which Denmark is following.

“To be able to get there, we need to be able to measure the progress of all industries and all industries. Therefore, it is a prerequisite for reaching the goal of 70 per cent. the ambition is that we have solid and credible measuring tools. ”


Key ESG Figures

The carbon footprint of PensionDanmark’s total investments in these asset classes (exclusive RE infrastructure)  was reduced by 16% to 49.5 tonnes/EURm in 2020 from 58.7 tonnes/EURm in 2019.

Pensiondanmark’s investments in wind farms and other renewable energy infrastructure saved the atmosphere for 1.9 million. tons of CO2 meanwhile our total investments themselves emitted 886,894 tonnes of CO2. Although our investments in some areas give rise to emissions, our avoided emissions in green infrastructure outweighs more that.

Pensiondanmark has committed that the total portfolio at latest in 2050 – and probably much earlier – must not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions (net-zero commitment) and we feel that we are on track.

  • For its own business, Pensiondanmark emitted 43 tonnes of CO2e in 2020 against 79 tonnes in 2019 in scope 1 and 56 emitted tonnes of CO2e in 2020 against 66 tonnes in 2019 in scope 2.
  • The carbon footprint of PensionDanmark’s total investments was reduced by 16% to 49.5 tonnes/EURm in 2020 from 7.9 tonnes/EURm in 2019.
  • The renewable energy share of PensionDanmark’s own energy consumption increased by almost 5pp to 78.2% – more than twice the proportion in 2016 (35.8%).
  • At end-2020, 44.3% of PensionDanmark’s managers were women. In 2016, the share was 33.0%. The proportion of female managers now exceeds the proportion of women in the organisation as a whole (43.7%).
  • The target is a female proportion – of managers and staff in general – of 50% by 2025.

Read more in Pension Denmark’s  CSR report from 2020.

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