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ATP’s targeted dialogue with Cheminova on the subject of Occupational Health and Safety

ATP’s experience of taking social responsibility through active ownership has been positive. The dialogue with Cheminova on the sale of toxic pesticides in India and Brazil illustrates that active ownership can help to ensure a better working environment.

Media criticism of the sale of dangerous pesticides by Cheminova

In 2006, the sale of toxic pesticides in India and Brazil by Cheminova, a company owned by Auriga Industries A/S, received widespread criticism in the Danish media. ATP, one of the three main investors in Auriga Industries A/S, and the company’s other shareholders decided to enter into a dialogue with Cheminova with a view to stopping the sale of toxic pesticides. Cheminova subsequently began to phase out the pesticides concerned.

ATP and active ownership

Social responsibility is taken into account in the investment decisions made by ATP in order to achieve the highest possible risk-adjusted return, benefitting its members. The overall objective is reflected in ATP’s guidelines on social responsibility in investments and ATP’s active ownership.

Resources

Active ownership in the form used in connection with the Cheminova case is highly resource-intensive. ATP has therefore devoted more resources to this area and put together an “ESG Team” (Environmental, Social and Governance Team) to assist ATP’s portfolio managers in connection with active ownership, among other things. The ESG Team also acts as the secretariat for ATP’s Social Responsibility Committee, which coordinates ATP’s work with social responsibility in investments.

Central learning

ATP has developed some principles for the way in which the company practices active ownership:

  • Integral part of the investment process For ATP, it is essential that active ownership is an integral part of the investment process and not a separate, disconnected process. ATP has therefore maintained its practice of ensuring that its active ownership is handled by portfolio managers (and ATP’s ESG Team) to the greatest extent possible, rather than outsourcing the work. Internally at ATP, the company goes to great lengths to maintain a common approach to active ownership among the portfolio managers and the ESG Team.
  • Dialogue not confrontation Dialogue generally leads to better results than confrontation. ATP therefore uses many resources to build a trusting relationship with the company. As a general rule, ATP therefore does not make public the details of the dialogue with the companies.
  • Changing behaviour and improved knowledge ATP does not practice active ownership solely to change the behaviour of a company, but also to gain more knowledge, which can be used to make better investment decisions.

Read more about the ATP case (pdf) Read more about ATP

Timeline

2006
Media criticism of the sale of dangerous pesticides in India and Brazil by Cheminova

 

2006
ATP initiates dialogue with the owner of Cheminova, Auriga Industries A/S, and the other principal shareholders, and the decision is made to phase out dangerous Class 1 products.

 

2009
At the end of 2009, 13 out of a total of 15 planned phase-outs are complete.

 

2010
At the end of 2010, all phase-outs are complete.