OSLO, Norway—Norges Bank will not be investing in natural rubber supply group Halcyon Agri due to it being "responsible for serious environmental damage," Norway's central bank alleges.
The decision to drop Halcyon from the government pension fund investment list had been recommended by Norway's Council on Ethics, which saw "unacceptable risk" associated with the investment.
Haycolon Agri "is responsible for severe environmental damage as a result of its conversion of tropical forest into rubber plantations in Cameroon," the council alleged in a recommendation from October. In particular, the council highlighted Halcyon's potential damages to the UNESCO world heritage site Dja Faunal Reserve, in southeastern Cameroon.
Norges Bank's executive board had not conducted an independent assessment of all aspects of the recommendation, but said it was satisfied that exclusion criteria were met.
In a written statement, Halcyon Agri said it was reviewing Norges Bank's decision and was "disappointed that they are no longer one of our shareholders.
"We welcome any constructive feedback on our operations," Halcyon said, adding that it would provide further updates on this issue.
Halcyon Agri launched a sustainable natural rubber supply chain policy in November to address the concerns surrounding its activities of subsidiary in Cameroon, Sud-Cameroun Hevea S.A.