Norway top responsible investor according to Petercam

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Belgian asset manager Petercam, which will soon merge with Bank DeGroof, has published its bi-annual sustainability ranking for the 34 countries members of the OECD. Five criteria are being taken into account : “transparency and democratic value”, “environment”, “education”, “population, health care and wealth distrbution”, and the “economy”.

Northern Europe leads the way when it comes to sustainability, with nine countries in the 10 first rankings. According to Petercam criterias, Norway comes first, followed by Switzerland and Luxembourg.

About Norway, the firm commented : “It is an example in terms of freedom of the press, income inequality is very low and Norwegians claim to be largely satisfied with life. Long-term unemployment is among the lowest in the OECD Member States.”

If Norway reaches the top of the ranking, it is also because the country is committed to reducing its level of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% compared with the level registered in 1990, by 2030.

“The Norwegian population is culturally sensitive to its environment and sustainability issues. Thus, the country’s sovereign fund, worth over €800bn although based on revenue from petrol and gas – the country’s main resources – is meant to be invested in a responsible and sustainable manner,” Petercam explains.

France, hosting the Climate Summit in Paris in December 2015, is ranked 18th, the same ranking as in 2013. Petercam said the country has “not shown any notable improvement in the matter.”

“And the situation regarding the other sustainability pillars is not encouraging either, quite the contrary !”, the firm added.

“Regarding transparency and governance, the country scores below the OECD average on several fundamental criteria such as freedom of the press, perceived corruption and institutional quality. The absence of private debt can hardly rectify an economic situation that is losing in terms of competitiveness”, Petercam assessed.

At the bottom of Petercam’s substainability ranking remain Greece, Mexico and Turkey.

The full report is available here : https://www.petercam.com/be-en/other/publications/oecd-half-year-sustainability-ranking-h1-2015

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