Storebrands Role in Reaching the SDGs: Investing in a Future Worth Looking forward to

Celine Topper & Hanne Bjørnslett Nilsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This study investigates the Norwegian financial industry’s work with sustainable investments and was inspired by how investors, both public and private, have a crucial role in the channeling of cash flows toward sustainable projects. It aims to identify how the case company Storebrand is working systematically with sustainable investments and evaluates whether other companies can follow their lead to support United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Based on interviews with representatives from the industry and documentary secondary data, we mapped success factors and potential challenges for the work with sustainable investments. The in-depth study of Storebrand found that Storebrand’s success derives from four essential elements: (1) integration of sustainability into everything they do, (2) perception of sustainability as a competitive advantage,(3) size, and (4) expertise. By comparing Storebrand to our peer group of institutional investors, we identified and addressed four main challenges that hinder the work of integrating sustainability into asset management: (1) perception of sustainability, (2) lack of information, (3) lack of shared definitions, and (4) how size matters. The research concludes that parts of Storebrand’s success can be challenging for the peers to imitate, but that several findings can be used as inspiration for their own approach. We hope that the research contributes as a valuable insight into the topic of sustainable investments, and that it highlights the crucial role that the financial industry has in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

EducationsMSc in Finance and Investments, (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisMSc in Finance and Strategic Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages117
SupervisorsSvend Peter Malmkjær