Dialogues with foreign companies is coordinated between the AP funds' Council on Ethics. The Council on Ethics is a collaboration between the First, Second, Third and Fourth AP Funds, which was launched in 2007. The aim is to influence the companies to a more sustainable business and make a difference by being long-term, responsible and committed owners that influence companies to improve their work on environmental and social issues.
The companies with which the Council on Ethics conducts dialogues are identified primarily in conjunction with the Fund’s biannual screening of its total shareholdings, with a view to determining whether any portfolio company is in contravention of an international convention. This screening is conducted by an external consultant. This work is based on the principles of commitment, action and change, with the intention of making a difference. The Council on Ethics identifies companies that can be linked to breach of conventions and focuses on persuading such companies to deal with confirmed breaches and to implement systems and measures to preclude future violations. Dialogue is a vital tool in enabling the Council to influence corporate behaviour.
Through demanding change, the Fund can make a difference. Only in cases where this cannot be achieved the Fund will consider excluding its holdings in the company.