The Council on Ethics’ proactive dialogues support the work of companies with regard to sustainability issues in order to prevent serious incidents from occurring.
The dialogues are about persuading companies to focus more closely on various environmental and social issues, improve internal processes and the transparency of their work. Thereby improving the sustainable value creation of the companies and ensuring better investments as well as financial returns long-term.
Several of the problems that the Council discuss with the companies arise from weak regulation, often in combination with sector-wide shortcomings. The overall playing field on which the companies operate is not controlled by investors but by governments and other political institutions and regulatory authorities. Simple, black-and-white solutions rarely present themselves for many of the problems the companies are confronted with.
During 2019 the Council’s strategy work resulted in the decision to focus on four focus areas for its proactive dialogues:
- Climate – the Paris climate agreement
- Environment – biodiversity and water
- Human rights – child and forced labour and health and safety
- Business ethics – anti-corruption and responsible businesses
The Council’s prioritization and choice of focus areas for its proactive company and sector dialogues takes in considerations regarding financial risks and opportunities, as well as public trust in the AP Funds and the Council. Contributing to this work is also the result and analysis of the AP funds and the Council’s materiality dialogues regarding sustainability with stakeholders. A workshop with representatives from several of the Council’s and AP Funds’ stakeholders was held in the autumn of 2017.