DENMARK – Unipension, which administers three professional pension funds in Denmark, has said it is extending its guidelines on responsible investment to cover property investments and private equity.
The move follows the company's adoption of a new investment strategy for property earlier this year.
The company said: "The guidelines are the same for the three pension funds under Unipension, and we are the first in Denmark to have written guidelines on responsible property investments."
Future real estate investments would be in listed as well as non-listed vehicles, it said.
While listed property investments are covered by existing guidelines on responsible investment, non-listed property investments and private equity will be covered by the new code, Unipension said.
The guidelines will cover the same issues as those for other investments – human rights, workers' rights, environment, corruption, sanctions, controversial weapons and good governance.
On top of this, the guidelines contain a provision that applies to property in particular.
"This says we will prioritise properties with a recognised certification, as long as the investments do not increase risk and do not have a negative impact on returns," it said.
Unipension defined certification as voluntary rating systems for properties typically including stricter demands than legally required regarding environment, design, use and location, etc.
In March, the company said it was switching its portfolio of Danish buildings for a new set of indirect investments in European and US real estate to achieve better diversification of risk.
Unipension manages combined assets of around DKK100bn (€13.4bn) for the Architects' Pension Fund (AP), the medical scheme MP Pension and the Pension Fund for Agricultural Academics and Veterinary Surgeons (PJD).