Sustainable business

Investor firmly believes that focus on sustainability is a prerequisite for creating long-term value. Companies that are best-in-class when it comes to operating in a sustainable way, will be able to provide superior products and services, and to recruit the best employees, thereby outperforming competitors in the long-term.

Investor has a long tradition of being a responsible owner, company and employer. To maintain the right to exist in the long-term, companies need to work on managing their resources and focus on continuous improvement, as productivity is key to maintain a competitive advantage in a dynamic business environment.

Our sustainability work as company and employer
As a company, we continuously work to improve our social, environmental and economic impact. We aim to set a good example for our companies.

As an employer, we focus on providing a best-in-class working environment where respect for each individual and ethical behavior is key. This enables us to recruit and retain the best talents.

Guidelines and policies
We are fully committed to the highest standards of corporate governance and we support the UN Global Compact and the OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. It is of the highest importance that we always comply with legislations and regulations.

Investor’s Board of Directors, in cooperation with the Management Group, has formulated an internal framework for how Investor should act as a responsible owner, company and employer. These topics are addressed in our Code of Conduct and in our internal policies for Anti-Corruption, Sustainability and Whistleblowing. Among other things, Investor’s Code of Conduct, Business Principles, covers business ethics and provides guidance to employees and company representatives on what is appropriate and not appropriate in business relations. Investor’s Code of Conduct, Business Principles, can be found to the right. 

Every employee and other company representatives are expected to comply with our policies. In order to inform the organization about our internal rules, regular trainings are held and all documentation is available on Investor’s intranet. Investor’s internal regulations are monitored continuously and updated when needed, at least annually. Violations are followed up by management an appropriate corrective actions are taken. 

Materiality assessment
During the fall 2016, Investor conducted an in-depth materiality assessment. Investor’s most significant sustainability issues were identified and prioritized via analyzes, ongoing dialogs and interviews with our employees and external stakeholders. Investor’s most relevant stakeholders are, among others, shareholders, portfolio companies, employees, partners, media and society as a whole, as they affect how well Investor perform from an economic, environmental and social perspective. The assessment is based on Investor’s investing activities and our impact as an owner is covered in the aspects of “Active ownership in sustainable business models” and “Indirect influence on sustainability related issues”. The result from the assessment is used to further pinpoint our sustainability priorities and reporting going forward.

The matrix illustrates Investor’s main sustainability priorities and below is a description of our highest priorities.

  • Financial strength and long-term return: Sustainable business to create long-term value.
  • Business ethics: Ethical business conduct and prevention of unethical behavior, corruption and bribery.
  • Indirect economic influence: Investor’s contribution to employment, growth, wealth, research, innovation and development.
  • Active ownership in sustainable business models: As owners, we stress the importance of sustainable business models, customer benefit, processes and innovation in the portfolio companies.
  • Corporate governance: Corporate governance matters, such as board independence, competence and compensation, are handled in an adequate and transparent manner.
  • Indirect influence on sustainability related issues: As owners, we have an active dialog with the portfolio companies regarding the management of sustainability issues and risks, such as the impact on the climate and environment, health, safety, bribery and corruption, as well as human rights.

Gifts, benefits and bribes 
Investor has high expectations of ethical and moral business behavior to protect Investor's brand and reputation. Investor’s policy, approved by the Board of Directors, is that Investor will not under any circumstances tolerate corruption or bribery[1] (including so-called facilitation payments[2]). Investor complies with applicable laws.

Investor has internal rules approved by the Management Group, aimed at providing guidance to evaluate what is appropriate and not appropriate in professional relations regarding, among other things, gifts and benefits. The internal rules are built on the principles of the Swedish Anti-Corruption Institute’s Code on Gifts Rewards and Benefits in the Business Sector. According to the internal rules, the gifts and benefits given and received shall always be characterized by openness and moderation. In doubtful situations, the immediate supervisor shall always be informed and consulted. Investor’s Legal department is also available for guidance. The risk for bribery and corruption is evaluated continuously and also assessed on an annual basis as a part of Investor’s risk assessment process.

In order to sensitize the organization of internal rules, regular trainings are being held and internal rules are available on Investor's intranet. Investor’s internal rules are monitored continuously and updated at least annually.

[1] Corruption is defined as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. Bribery is defined as the offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of an advantage as an inducement for an action which is illegal, unethical or a breach of trust. Inducements can take the form of gifts, loans, fees, rewards or other advantages (taxes, services, donations, favors etc.).

[2] Facilitation payments is defined as small bribes paid to public officials to speed up bureaucratic processes and access services the payer is lawfully entitled to. 

investor pattern