As sustainability figures more prominently in international business, some large international funds are beginning to recognize the fiscal importance of remaining on the right side of history.
Workers fertilising on an oil palm plantation in Papua, Indonesia. Image: Dutch national pension fund APB is divesting 300,000 euros ($351,000) from Korean firm Posco Daewoo over deforestation in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province. The announcement by ABP follows a series of media reports in the Netherlands about forest destruction by PT Bio Inti Agrindo, an oil palm plantation company owned by Posco Daewoo. In May, consumer television program Kassa—the name means “cash register” in Dutch—aired a 16-minute segment on the pension fund’s investment in Posco Daewoo. That same month, the Dutch website Oneworld.nl published its own exposé of the land clearing in Papua. Environmental groups have campaigned against the deforestation in Papua by Posco Daewoo, and by other companies, for years. The palm oil industry is rapidly expanding there. If ABP wants to be seen as a responsible trustee of Dutch resources, they have to stop financing rogue actors like Posco. In 2015, Norway’s pension fund divested from Posco Daewoo—then named Daewoo International—and from Posco, the parent company. APB still has a 157 million euro ($183 million) investment in Posco. “Norway got it right—Posco’s massive deforestation and land grabbing isn’t something to play games with,” Rolf Schipper, forest campaigner […]