Norges Bank excludes Chinese Yunnan Baiyao on endangered animal concerns

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which runs Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), has decided to exclude one of China’s top pharmaceutical companies, Yunnan Baiyao due to endangered animal concerns.

Yunnan Baiyao specializes in so-called traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and uses and sells body parts from pangolins, which is a globally endangered species.

According to the statement, the Executive Board has decided to “exclude the company Yunnan Baiyao Group Co Ltd due to unacceptable risk that the company contributes to serious environmental damage, ref. the conduct-based criteria in section 4 e) of the Guidelines for Observation and Exclusion from the Government Pension Fund Global.” 

The decision is based on a recommendation from the Council on Ethics of 27 May 2021, the statement said. 

NBIM has also decided to place Brazil’s Marfrig Global Foods under observation – with both changes based on environmental considerations. The decision is based on a recommendation from the Council on Ethics of 30 September 2021, the statement said. 

“The Executive Board has not conducted an independent assessment of all aspects of the recommendations but is satisfied that the exclusion criteria have been fulfilled. Before deciding to exclude a company, Norges Bank shall consider whether the use of other measures, including the exercise of ownership rights, maybe better suited. The Executive Board concludes that it is not appropriate to use other measures in these cases,” the statement concluded. 

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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