Sustainable business

Investor has a long tradition of being a responsible owner, company and employer, and firmly believes that 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 recruit the best employees, thereby outperforming competitors long-term.

Our sustainability work as company and employer
As a company, Investor continuously works to improve our social, environmental and economic impact. For information about our business model, see pages 8-9 in our Annual Report.

As an employer, Investor focuses on providing a best-in-class working environment where ethical behavior and respect for each individual is key. This enables us to recruit and retain the best talents. For more information, see page 26 in our Annual Report. 

Investor’s direct environmental impact is limited, but we actively strive to limit our impact and carbon footprint. For 2017 we will report our carbon emissions to CDP. The report will be available on our website. Our largest source of emissions is business trips, why we carbon offset all flights.

We are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and have identified contributions to a number of them. Number 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, is the most central one, as it focuses on how we can contribute to sustainable and long term economic growth, while ensuring safe and fair working conditions. Among other things, Investor has been involved in a working group together with other Swedish investors, with the aim of developing more efficient performance indicators and processes.

Guidelines and policies
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.

Investor’s Code of Conduct can be found on our website. All employees and company representatives are expected to comply with our policies. We hold regular trainings and all documentation is available on Investor’s intranet. In 2017, a company-wide conference about corporate culture was held, during which discussions about our core values and our Code of Conduct were important parts. Investor’s internal regulations are
monitored continuously and updated at least annually.

Materiality assessment
Investor has conducted an in-depth materiality assessment, taking material risks into account. Sustainability risks are further described in note 3, Risks and risk management, on page 48 in our Annual Report. Our most significant sustainability issues have been identified and prioritized via analyses, ongoing dialogs and interviews with internal and external stakeholders.

Investor’s most relevant stakeholders are, among others, shareholders, portfolio companies, employees, partners, and society, as they affect how well Investor performs 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 “Active ownership for sustainable business models” and “Indirect influence on sustainability related issues”. The results from the assessment are used to further pinpoint our sustainability priorities and reporting.

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