The Church of Sweden will consider reinvesting in Telia Company after a review has shown that the company now meets the investor’s sustainability demands.
The Church of Sweden sold its interests in Telia Company in 2013 after reports of misconduct in connection with the company’s entry into Uzbekistan.
The Church has now decided to classify Telia Company as eligible for investment. “Telia Company has in a relatively short period of time acquired a high internal capacity in sustainability issues. The new management and the board of directors have worked to prevent problems and handle the challenges they encountered in Central Asia. The new management has shown excellent leadership in several difficult areas,” says Sara Nordbrand, The Church’s Head of Sustainability.
“We seek to work proactively together with other stakeholders, to understand the human rights impacts of our operations and to find ways to increase our leverage. One example is our active participation in ‘The Global Network Initiative’ where human rights organisations, academics, investors and companies address issues regarding freedom of expression and privacy jointly,” says Patrik Hiselius, Senior Advisor Digital Rights at Telia Company.
The Church of Sweden has a buffer capital of about SEK 5 billion. In its asset management, the Church attempts to identify companies which contribute to sustainable global development and also generate a satisfactory financial return. Some companies are excluded (for example, weaponry and tobacco manufacturers), as their business concepts conflict with the values of the Church.