Andra AP-fonden works on several different fronts to integrate human rights issues into its analysis and decision-making processes. The goal is that operations are run in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Human rights perspectives must permeate every aspect of the Fund’s activities.
AP2 must continue to implement the UN’s Guiding Principles, and as from 2025, the Fund’s activities must be conducted in line with these principles.
AP2 is committed to the promotion of sustainable development through responsible investment and responsible ownership. Protecting human rights is crucial to achieving the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals and is thereby a key aspect of the mission to manage the Fund’s assets in an exemplary manner. This work is also in line with AP2’s core values, which are based on the Swedish State’s core values and among other things entail that the Fund undertakes to comply with international conventions ratified by Sweden.
AP2 seeks to have a human rights due diligence process in place within all of its asset classes. This process includes risk identification, risk management, follow-up and reporting of the Fund’s human rights risks. In accordance with the UN Guiding Principles, the work is primarily conducted from a severity perspective. The focus is on the potentially most severe impacts on people and thereby not on the financial risk which the investment entails.
The due diligence process for human rights differs slightly between the asset classes within AP2, but the overall structure is the same regardless of whether the investment is in global equities or investments in unlisted asset classes. Read more about AP2’s integration of the due diligence process in the Fund’s report on human rights in accordance with the UNGP Reporting Framework.
Since AP2’s most serious human rights risks are identified to be found within the asset management activities, the Fund focuses particularly on ensuring that the risks entailed by its role as an asset manager are handled.
AP2 identifies countries where there are financial, operational or sustainability reasons not to invest in these countries. The process adheres to an internally developed framework that is based, among other things, on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Fund’s human rights policy. The risk assessment also evaluates the risks at company level from the perspective of negative impacts on people, rather than the financial risk. One or more relevant sectors are selected for engagement.
AP2 performs an updated analysis of the risk of human rights violations every six months. The analysis is based on data at both country and sector level and forms the basis for the Fund’s proactive advocacy work, primarily in the form of dialogue with the companies concerned. The current status and objectives for the dialogues are defined through desktop analyses of the relevant companies’ work with human rights and the guidelines they have in place, as well as their due diligence processes throughout the supply chain. The dialogue is adapted to each individual situation and relative progress is evaluated annually. Based on the results, decisions can be made to close the dialogue, continue it for another year or to terminate the relationship and sell the holding, depending on whether the goals have been achieved, are deemed to be achievable or are currently considered to be unachievable.
As an active, long-term owner, advocacy is an important instrument for AP2 to create positive change. Engagement work is thereby a key aspect of managing the Fund’s human rights risks and is integrated into the Fund’s due diligence process. AP2 can, for example, conduct advocacy work individually, via investor initiatives and other collaboration, or via the AP Funds’ Council on Ethics.
Human rights issues are often complex and global, and are thus best handled in joint collaboration with other investors and organisations. AP2 supports and collaborates via several initiatives on the human rights risks identified by the Fund. Since 2021, AP2 has been involved in the Platform Living Wage Financials (PLWF) investor partnership, which conducts structured advocacy work with a focus on living wages in the textile industry.
AP2 also collaborates with other investors within the framework of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, which has a special project group focusing on the textile industry. They have also coordinated specific dialogues with companies with potential exposure to negative impacts on the Uighur population in China.
Within the PRI Advance initiative, AP2 collaborates with other investors, among other things to increase understanding and the possibility of influencing human rights aspects within companies’ supply chains globally.
AP2 reports every other year according to the framework of the United Nations Guiding Principles. The UNGP’s framework is the world’s first comprehensive guide for reporting how companies respect human rights. The Fund also reports annually as part of the Fund’s Sustainability Report.