Research into workplace pensions in Sweden by SPP, part of the Storebrand group, has found that while 80% of employees want to their long term savings to be done sustainably, just eight out of the 29 constituents listed on the OMXS30 index of larger Swedish companies could show that they had a strategy in place for sustainable workplace pensions.
The fourth edition of SPP's annual Blinda Fläcken survey, noted that some SEK500m (€46.2m) is invested daily by workplace pensions by Swedish companies.
Staffan Hansén, CEO at SPP, said: "Sustainable workplace pensions are a central plank in companies' work building strong basic principles that are decisive in attracting and retaining future talent. The workplace pension offers untapped potential to strengthen companies' sustainability profile."
He added that the money being invested daily has "enormous power to make a difference", but that it is up to companies to ensure that this money is used in a beneficial way.
However, the survey has found a critical cap between what employees increasingly wish their money should be used for and the actual pensions solutions put forward by their employers.
"Eight out of 10 staff want their workplace pension to be invested sustainably. Many feel that the employer has the responsiblity and assume that there is a strategy for sustainable workplace pensoins at the company. But it is evidenced that this is far from reality," Hansén said.
SPP's data suggeests that of the 29 OMXS30 constitutents that account for sustainability, none bar the banks specifically mention sustainability demands in sourcing pensions and investing capital.
"Swedish companies generally are good at placing sustainability demands on their suppliers, but for some reason many miss specifically the workplace pension. This may to a large extent be explained by the money being seen as something faceless; in contrast to the 'eco banana' in the fruit basket, capital is difficult to touch. At the same time many probably expect that sustainability demands on workplace pensions are put forward elsewhere by management, but this is not the case."
The finding of this year's survey reflects last year's finding. Employees surveyed stated that they see sustainable long term savings in the same way they veiw good customer service; something to be expected from good companies. The survey took place in two parts.
The first was a review of accounts of sustainability published by companies and to what extent they work systematically with sustainable pension provision and asset management. Companies were able to complement the information through comments.
The second part consisted of a survey of staff and their views on sustainability and savings at companies with at least 50 employees. The sample size was 1,055 people.