Principles for investment operations

Responsibility in investment operations means that alongside investment return expectations, we take into account sustainability criteria related to the environment, society and people, as well as good governance. We thus aim to ensure that our investee companies operate responsibly and do not, for example, violate human rights, engage in corrupt business or cause environmental damage.

We are committed to ambitious sustainability goals and principles

Responsible investment practices and ground rules are constantly evolving, and Varma intends to be at the forefront of sustainable investment also going forward.

Principles for Responsible Investment
Climate policy for Varma's investments
Varma's ownership policy
Active ownership and engagement principles

New investments

We invest in sustainable companies.

We increasingly invest in companies that take climate change into account in their operations and develop solutions to mitigate it.

Our goal is for the climate allocation to make up 20% of our investment portfolio by 2025. This comprises investees whose business benefits from actions to mitigate climate change and whose operations do not cause significant emissions. Included are equity investments in companies with ambitious emission-reduction targets, our green bond investments and our properties with emission-free energy consumption.

Investments we avoid

We exclude or exit from investments that we do not consider to be sustainable.

There are some industries that we do not invest in at all. These include, but are not limited to, manufacturers of tobacco products and controversial weapons (nuclear arms, etc.) and companies that rely on coal or lignite in their operations. Besides coal producers, oil exploration and electricity producers with coal-based operations are also excluded.

We will exit from all thermal coal investments by 2025 and from oil exploration by 2030. Since 2015, we have already excluded from our direct investments companies with coal- or lignite-based operations accounting for more than 30% of their net sales, production capacity or production.

Engagement

We drive our investees towards more sustainable operations.

Varma has a socially significant role in determining the future direction of the companies it invests in. We influence the operations of our portfolio companies, and we encourage them to make more sustainable choices. We demand climate reporting from companies, and we require them to take sustainability into account in their strategic decision-making. We may also exit from an investment if our sustainability requirements are not met.

Joint engagement projects

Shareholder meetings and Varma's voting 2021

Shareholder meetings and Varma's voting 2020

Shareholder meetings and Varma's voting 2019

Real Estate

With the built environment accounting for roughly 40% of Finland’s emissions, achieving emission-free energy consumption in buildings matters. Varma is modifying the office premises and flats under its ownership to make them carbon neutral – the heating in some of our rental homes is already carbon neutral.

Read more about the environmental impacts of our real estate investments in our Annual and Sustainability Report