Norway Puts $1 Trillion ‘Reward’ on Sustainability Improvement

So it might not exactly be a reward, per say, but the country of Norway has created a $1 TRILLION sovereign wealth fund for which it will use to invest into a number of different global companies. Recently, which much of the world’s foremost minds, and business leaders like Alicia Procello Maddox President of the Avery Dennison Foundation, have challenged their colleagues in business to make strides in sustainability, and truly help bolster the declining environment. And similarly, to what Alicia Procello Maddox recommended, Norway is putting their money where their mouth is.

Norway as a country has an immense oil and gas production economy and rising production has made them huge revenues for which they have become a global investor with stakes in over 9,000 different companies across 72 different countries! As the world’s largest fund, the goal is obviously to make money – however, as a result of growing pressures, attitudes, and the staunch voices of business insiders like Alicia Procello Maddox – Norway has decided that it will ensure that the companies in which the fund invests, will now follow even stricter guidelines on global sustainability and help to further the world’s effort on fighting plastic pollution within the world’s oceans.

With the goals of the fund taking on a new initiative, they seem to have a lot more overlap with the goals of the United Nations, ad their desire to achieve far more sustainable world by the year 2030, affecting the planet’s economy, society, and especially the environment. Those in the know, like Alicia Procello Maddox applaud such a move, as Norway’s place as investor of the largest fund the world has ever seen creates a lot of power. And because the fund’s investments are so broad, and don’t focus on any specific sector – this move can mean change for people and corporations across multiple industries, setting a precedent that few had the power to in years prior.

Alicia Procello Maddox also believes that using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as a basis for such an action speak volumes, as the UN is set to address and educate the world on responsible consumption, production, affordable and clean energy and sustainable life throughout the world’s oceans. And because the fund is now taking on such goals as well, many feel they have both the reach, and financial incentives to make some real change happen. If a million dollars can go a long way in terms of sustainability, imagine what a TRILLION can do. The fund would like the board of directors for each of the companies in which it is investing, to devote some time to the development of strategies to address the UN’s sustainability goals, and in the event that they fail to do so – or simply are not satisfied with the effort a corporation, and their board has put forth towards conservation and sustainability of our planet – they may simply, sell their shares, and that company will no longer be a part of the fund. With multiple-billion dollar investments, very few corporations would want to lose that kind of backing.

With such lofty, yet achievable goals for sustainability, one of the hot button issues has become the production of plastics. And approximately $25+ Billion of the fund is going towards plastics producers and these companies are likely to be under the microscope more so than others, as the consumption of plastic leads to much of the world’s devastation, especially that of the oceans. Many could take a page from the book of Avery Dennison, one of the world’s leaders in pressure-sensitive adhesives, and plastics. Alicia Procello Maddox and her team at their foundation have enacted their own sustainability goals – proving that a company in such a business can truly make a difference while still maintaining profits for themselves, and their shareholders. Hopefully for Norway, and the corporations involved, they are able to truly put their vast resources, and intellectual prowess to good use, and make strides in the sustainability movement for years to come.


The Basics

Alicia Procello Maddox
Corporate Responsibility Manager
Nike, Inc
Pasadena, CA

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