Norway’s $1.4 trillion wealth fund has divested from Chinese pharmaceutical firm Yunnan Baiyao. They say that this decision was because the company uses and sells body parts from pangolins, which is an endangered species.
The fund also said that it had put Marfrig Global Foods, under observation for possible exclusion from its investments for contributing to severe environmental damage. That is one of the Brazil’s largest producers of beef. The fund is one of the world’s largest investors. This follows an ethical mandate, which is set by parliament. It is not allowed to invest in companies that produce nuclear weapons, tobacco or cluster munitions, among other things.
The fund held a 0.11% stake in Yunnan Baiyao. That is worth $23 million at the end of 2020. It did not say when it had made the divestment. Referring to Marfrig, the fund’s ethical watchdog said that deforestation occurs on properties in its supply chain. Also, they added that the Marfrig’s supplier monitoring has not been sufficient to avoid deforestation. The monitoring system has mainly targeted the Amazon. Suppliers from other regions with a high rate of deforestation have barely been checked.
Marfrig said that it recognises the challenge of protecting the environment in Brazil. It said it plans to track 100% of its suppliers in the Amazon, which includes indirect sellers by 2025. This is to ensure that, its products are deforestation free. That will be expanded to all Brazilian biomes, as per the company by 2030. The fund had a 0.22% stake in the company, that is worth $4.4 million at the end of 2020.