The Norwegian Central Bank has decided to exclude ship owners Evergreen Marine Corporation, Precious Shipping, Korea Line Corporation and Thorensen Thai Agencies from the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).
The exclusion is based on the companies’ poor management of their end-of-life ships and the sale of these for dirty and dangerous shipbreaking on the beaches of Gadani, Pakistan and Chittagong, Bangladesh.
The Norwegian Council on Ethics directs the Norwegian Central Bank, which manages the Government Pension Fund Global, on which companies should be excluded from investments in the fund, based on human rights and humanitarian violations, corruption and environmental degradation records.
The GPFG is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, owning 1% of all investments worldwide, and the recommendations of the Council on Ethics weigh on other investors as indications of good financing.
“This is the first time that shipping companies have been excluded from an investment fund based on their poor shipbreaking practices, and coming from the largest investment fund in the world, it sends out a strong signal to all financial institutions to follow suit”, says Ingvild Jenssen, Founder and Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
The NGO Shipbreaking Platform has documented that in the last three years, 20 ships were sold by Evergreen, Korea Line, Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies to beaching facilities in South Asia. The companies have been excluded from the GPFG because the beaching of their vessels cause severe environmental damage and serious human rights violations.
Whilst the exclusions so far are limited to companies that have sold their end-of-life vessels to be beached in Bangladesh and Pakistan, the reports clearly state that “to date, the Council on Ethics has not examined the way ships are broken up in India.”