Evergreen, Others Excluded from Norwegian Fund over Beaching

Shipping majors Evergreen Marine Corp (Taiwan), Korea Line Corp, Precious Shipping PCL and Thoresen Thai Agencies PCL have been excluded from the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), the Norwegian Central Bank informed.

The decision was made on the recommendation of the Norwegian Council on Ethics on the ground of the companies’ beaching practices.

Namely, the shipping companies in question have been sending their ships to Bangladeshi and Pakistani beaches for demolition thus contributing to severe environmental pollution and supporting serious human rights violations as these regions are infamous for their poor working conditions.

Based on the data from NGO Shipbreaking Platform documented in the last three years, 20 ships were sold by Evergreen, Korea Line, Precious Shipping and Thoresen Thai Agencies to beaching facilities in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Pan Ocean Co. Ltd has been placed under observation based on the same criteria.

According to the Council on Ethics, selling a vessel to a beaching yard “is a consequence of an active choice on the part of the company that owned the vessel to maximise its profit. In the Council’s opinion, that company must shoulder an independent responsibility for doing so. There are better ways of dismantling ships that are readily available to the shipowner, but these are more expensive.

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,” Ingvild Jenssen, Founder and Director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, said.

We also strongly encourage the Council on Ethics to engage with the companies that sell their vessels for scrapping on the beach of Alang, India.

To date, the Council on Ethics has not examined the way ships are broken up in India.

Shipbuilders BAE Systems and Huntington Ingalls Industries have also been excluded because of their involvement in the production of nuclear weapons.

The GPFG is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, owning 1 percent of all investments worldwide.