First Nordic Swan label for index fund

The XACT Sverige has become the first index fund to be awarded the Nordic Swan label, meaning the strategy has passed the environmental, human rights and transparency requirements necessary to receive the label.

The fund is a Ucits ETF, which follows the SIX Sweden ESG Selection index, investing in large and mid cap Swedish companies that meet specific sustainability criteria. XACT is the largest issuer of ETFs in the Nordic region. It’s Swedish registered ETFs are managed by Xact Kapitalförvaltning, part of the Handelsbanken group. Norway registered ETFs are managed by Handelsbanken Kapitalforvaltning.

Pär Nürnberg, CEO of Xact Kapitalförvaltning, said: “Making the right choice should be easy. It shouldn’t be more difficult to select an ecolabelled fund than to choose an ecolabelled laundry detergent. The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is well-known and is widely-trusted by consumers. As an independent player, the Nordic Swan Ecolabel acknowledges that XACT Sverige has been reviewed and meets the stringent requirements.”

“When it became possible to ecolabel funds last year, none of the existing index funds fully complied with the sustainability requirements of an ecolabel. As Sweden’s leading provider of index funds and exchange-traded index funds, we saw this as a challenge and began to collaborate with our index providers as well as one of our sustainability analysis providers. Together, they have successfully developed an entirely new equity index, SIX Sweden ESG Selection index, which meets the sustainability requirements of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.”

Per Sandell, head of Financial Services for Ecolabelling Sweden (Miljömärkning Sverige), the state-owned non-profit company responsible for labelling standards, said: “It is highly satisfactory that we can present the first index fund in Sweden. And that we have been joined by a powerful player like XACT which is part of pushing development towards sustainable savings.”

The first Nordic Swan labelled funds were launched a year ago, and encompass some SEK71bn (€6.8bn) of AUM. The addition of the XACT Sverige means that the labelling scheme now covers both index funds as well as actively managed equity, bond and balanced funds.

“When we developed the criteria our goal was to ensure access for different types of funds, to give savers a range. An index fund can, just like an actively manged fund, live up to the requirements of the Swan. We have in the same meticulous way checked how the index the fund follows is constructed, and how potential deviations can be remedied,” Sandell added.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jonathan Boyd
Editorial Director of Open Door Media Publishing Ltd, and Editor of InvestmentEurope. Jonathan has over two decades of media experience in Japan, Australia, Canada and the UK. Over the past 17 years he has been based in London writing about funds and investments. From editing the newsletter of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Japan in the 1990s he now focuses on Nordic markets for InvestmentEurope. Jonathan was awarded Editor of the Year at the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) Independent Publisher Awards 2017. Shortlisted for the same in 2016, he was also shortlisted in 2017 and 2015 for the broader PPA Awards category Editor of the Year (Business Media).

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