Press Releases

Handelsbanken Issue First PAB-aligned Index Funds Released by a Swedish Asset Manager – Shifts EUR 12.5 bn Capital From Five Existing Funds to New Paris-aligned Benchmarks

As the first Swedish asset manager, Handelsbanken releases five new Paris-aligned index funds tracking Solactive indices. Right from their inception, the new portfolios will exceed the minimum requirements of Paris-aligned Benchmarks and start with a reduction of greenhouse gas emission levels of 55%. As a pathbreaking act, the Swedish bank reallocates capital from five non-PAB-aligned funds to these new benchmarks.

With the inception of the regulatory framework for Paris-aligned benchmarks, investors gained the opportunity to invest in a greener and more sustainable future. As the principal goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep the increase of global average temperature below a critical threshold of 2°C, Handelsbanken’s new line of PAB-aligned index funds serves as an effective tool for investors to reduce the carbon footprint of their portfolios. Solactive’s ISS ESG Screened Paris Aligned Index Series serves as the underlying for these five new passive index funds.

The Solactive ISS ESG Screened Paris Aligned Index Series

The Solactive ISS ESG Screened Paris Aligned Index Series provides exposure to various size and regional segments of the global stock market. Handelsbanken licensed five benchmarks representing the global stock market, Emerging, European, US, and global small cap markets, respectively. In addition to its tilt towards emission-based sustainability, the indices feature an issuer-based screening executed by ISS ESG. The screening contains the market standard criteria such as the U.N. Global Compact, verified involvement in controversial weapons, and engagement at specified revenue thresholds in certain controversial activities such as, among others, fossil fuels, military equipment, tobacco, and gambling.

“It is great to observe the trend of ESG being embraced by the whole financial industry, and every time one of our climate indices is licensed, we are enormously happy to contribute with our services to a greener and more sustainable future,” comments Timo Pfeiffer, Chief Markets Officer at Solactive. Handelsbanken’s transition to Paris Aligned Benchmarks are a win-win for both investors and the environment, as Nordic investors gain the opportunity to decarbonize their portfolio and align with the Paris Agreement.”

Emma Viotti, Head of Passive Investments at Handelsbanken Fonder, comments: “Reallocating capital to sustainable investments is a cornerstone of the EU Action Plan and for us it was a given, as it has been throughout the years, to move our current AUM in a more sustainable direction rather than creating new offerings. Shifting our core global index offering to Paris Aligned Benchmarks supports our target to reduce the carbon intensity of our portfolios by 50% until 2030 and is an important step on our journey towards net zero.