It is our clear ambition to take responsibility for the green transition and to help drive it forward. We believe that this will also help us to generate solid returns for our customer in the future and create value for society. Our long-term goal is that all our investments will be carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest, and to achieve this we have set interim targets to reduce carbon emissions from our investment portfolios in five sectors by 2025. The underlying ambition is to achieve emissions reductions of between 15% and 35%.

We are already well on the way to meeting the targets for the steel and cement sectors. But the picture is different for the energy, transportation and utilities sectors, where there is a need to increase the pace of transition.

“We’ve set some ambitious goals and are working on several fronts to deliver on these while still safeguarding our customers’ savings. Progress is satisfactory in certain sectors, but the green transition has become more complex and poses even more dilemmas. In particular, we can see that the green transition has been affected by things such as the after-effects of the energy crisis, immature climate technologies and high levels of inflation and interest. These things have made it particularly hard for certain sectors to reduce their emissions as quickly as we’d hoped,” explains Dorte Eckhoff, Head of Sustainability at Danica Pension. She continues:

“Of course, we’re not satisfied with this. But the challenges can’t be solved overnight because the companies reflect how society is developing. If they want to turn things around, there’s a need for structural changes in the energy market, increased political regulation or that new green solutions become increasingly financially viable.”



Despite the challenges, we succeeded in increasing our investments in the green transition by around DKK 18 billion in 2023, bringing our total investments in this area to DKK 55.4 billion at the end of the year. At the same time, the relative carbon footprint from our total equity and bond investments has decreased by 41% since 2020 until today, and carbon emissions from our Danish property investments have decreased by 34% since 2019.

Several tools in use

“We’re continually seeking to move investments around and strike a balance of creating attractive risk-adjusted returns on our customers’ pension savings and contributing to speeding up the green transition. So we aim to invest in companies that have credible transition plans because they can offer an attractive return potential  and can also contribute to driving the transition,” says Dorte, stressing the importance of supporting the companies’ transitions.

“For the green transition to succeed, companies need to change, and we’re focused on helping them to do this. For example, it’s positive that more and more companies are joining the Science Based Targets initiative, which defines climate standards to help companies meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. But this also requires patience, because we won’t see the effects in the form of lower carbon emissions until some years from now,” says Dorte.

She also explains that in several instances during 2023 Danica Pension went against BP, Total, Shell and other companies by supporting proposals made at annual general meetings calling for more ambitious climate strategies. If we find that a company is unwilling to change or is not receptive, we can choose to exclude the company from our portfolios, and currently 533 companies are excluded on the basis of our climate and environment considerations.

"We continue to exercise active ownership with companies that have a heightened need to transition, and we also engage in targeted dialogue with sectors that consume fossil fuels, such as the automotive sector. "

Dorte Eckhoff, Head of Sustainability at Danica Pension

Challenged sectors

Energy security has become an important political issue in recent years, and this has accelerated the transition of the energy and utilities sectors.

“Energy companies have increased production of fossil fuels, among other reasons to make us independent of Russian oil and gas and to meet the increasing demand for energy. But this development isn’t sustainable. We’re working to get the energy sector to replace fossil fuels with green alternatives, and to do so at a pace that enables the sector to support the global economy and to promote the green transition. Figures from the International Energy Agency show positive trends in the energy market. Today, we invest more in renewable energy and other green solutions on a global scale than in fossil energy sources, and we want to support this momentum,” says Dorte Eckhoff.

Stricter climate-related regulation can further accelerate the green transition because it can stimulate increased demand for greener fuels. This also requires more widespread deployment of new climate technologies.

“Green fuels produced using power-to-X technologies are particularly necessary to enable the aviation and shipping sectors to decarbonise at a faster rate. The technology isn’t mature enough yet, and the companies themselves are unable to support the massive investments required. But we encourage them to implement other green initiatives in the meantime and to support the roll-out of new climate technologies,” ends Dorte Eckhoff.


  • The sector targets cover our equity and bond investments, and the carbon emission reductions were calculated at the end of September 2023.
  • We measure the carbon intensity of our investments. Calculations are based on how much CO2 a company emits in relation to its turnover and on the size of the individual investment as a proportion of our total investments. For example, if a company is able to increase its turnover without increasing its carbon emissions, the company’s carbon intensity decreases.
  • The reduction targets for each sector are defined on the basis of different emissions categorisation scopes (indirect and direct emissions). They have been set according to where the sector has the most substantial carbon emission and in relation to the availability of sufficient valid emissions data. The energy sector is measured under scopes 1, 2 and 3; the utilities sector under scope 1; the transportation sector under scopes 1 and 3; the steel sector under scopes 1 and 2; and the cement sector under scope 1.
  • From 2019 to 2023, our investments in the green transition have increased fivefold from approximately DKK 10 billion to DKK 55.4 billion. Our target is that 15% of our expected assets in 2030 will be placed in this type of investments, which is expected to equate to DKK 100 billion. Read more.
  • In 2020, a total of 1,106 companies had joined the Science Based Targets initiative, and by 2020 the number had risen to 4,230 companies. Read more.
  • The 41% reduction in carbon emissions for equities and bond investments is measured in relation to the 2020 level and the relative carbon footprint of scope 1 and 2 emissions. The relative carbon footprint indicates carbon emissions for each DKK 1 million we have invested. Development in the relative carbon footprint is also affected by the fact that data is becoming more accurate and that the calculations include an increasing number of companies.