Engagement themes 2024-2026

Human rights

We will not invest in companies that contribute to severe and systematic breaches of international humanitarian law and human rights. We will promote the respect of human rights by engaging with investee companies, policymakers and standard-setting bodies to tackle systemic human rights risks and create enabling environments for responsible business conduct that is grounded in respect for human rights and access to remedy for affected right-holders.

To promote respect for human rights, Storebrand is prioritising three themes within its engagements during the 2024-26 period:

  • Reducing inequalities and just transition
  • Conflict and high-risk areas
  • Digital rights


Embedded in these engagements areas lies our work towards achieving our two main social targets:

  1. Substantial alignment with the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles
  2. Living wages acknowledged for target sectors

Our engagement work is based on the UN Guiding Principles and OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Guidelines, the Norwegian human rights due diligence law (Transparency Law), the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive as well as UN human rights conventions and declarations and ILO conventions and international humanitarian law.

 Reducing inequalities and Just transition

According to the UN, inequality is growing for more than 70 per cent of the global population, exacerbating the risks of divisions and hampering economic and social development. Income disparities and a lack of opportunities are creating a vicious cycle of inequality, frustration and discontent across generations.

Storebrand aims to tackle this trend by focusing its engagements with companies in three areas: forced labour, living wages and just transition to address the negative effects that a transition to a low carbon economy is having on workers and communities. Although these risks can appear in companies' core or own activities, the risk is greater in companies supply chains.

Regarding forced labour in supply chains, Storebrand is focusing on the textile and renewables sectors by participating in an Investor Alliance for Human Rights initiative on forced labour including Uyghur forced labour.

Our work on living wages focuses on the textile, the agrifood and food retail sectors and it is conducted through the Platform Living Wages Financials.

Our participation in PRI Advance focuses on the metals and mining sector as well as the renewable sector and covers forced labour, living wages, labour rights as well as just transition with a strong focus on indigenous rights and communities’ rights. Through the World Benchmarking Alliance, we engage with oil and gas companies on just transition, with a strong focus on labour rights in this context.

Conflict and high-risk countries

Companies with operations in conflict-affected and high-risk areas (CAHRA) are exposed to a higher risk of involvement in human rights violations. Conflict-affected areas are identified by the presence of armed conflict and widespread violence. Some of the worst human rights abuses involving business occur amid conflict over the control of territory or resources and where central governmental control is weak or has broken down completely, or in territories whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government and thus have difficulty to defend themselves and exercise their self-determination rights.

We expect companies we invest in to exercise extreme caution when operating in these areas by conducting enhanced human rights due diligence so that their operations do not contribute to conflict.

Our actions on this theme are twofold:

  • reactive engagement with companies flagged for contribution to conflict
  • collaborative pro-active engagement aiming to ensure enhanced human rights due diligence in CAHRA in general with two high-risk sectors: the information and communication sector (ICT) and the renewables sector within the Investor Alliance for Human Rights CAHRA’s project together with Heartland and PeaceNexus foundation

Digital rights

Digital technologies can be used to stimulate engagement and democratic participation. Everyone should have access to a trustworthy, diverse and multilingual online environment and should know who owns or controls the services they are using. This encourages pluralistic public debate and participation in democracy.

However, there is a need to create a digital environment that protects people from disinformation, surveillance, discrimination, information manipulation or other forms of harmful content in addition to job displacement. Everyone should be empowered to make their own, informed choices online - including when they interact with artificial intelligence tool and algorithms.

Our dialogue with companies covers workers, consumers, societal and existential risk as we refer to the Artificial Intelligence OECD Principles, the work by the UN B-Tech group on Advancing Responsible Development and Deployment of Generative AI, in addition to emerging regulation in this field such as the EU Digital Service Act and the EU AI Act. Specifically, regarding AI, Storebrand expects companies to conduct ongoing human rights impact assessments to be undertaken by businesses, both AI providers and AI users, at all stages of the product and service cycle.

We participate in several initiatives: the Investor Alliance on Human Rights’ initiative on digital rights; the Swedish Council of Ethics led initiative on Big Tech and the World Benchmarking Alliance initiative on digital inclusion and ethical AI. SAM is also involved in investor initiatives that are advocating for robust digital rights regulation and giving feedback to lawmakers in the EU, through the Investor Alliance for Human Rights.

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