The Swedish government’s Ethical Council monitors company investments by the country’s four state pension funds. Among its prime targets are several resource extraction companies, including Rio Tinto and Freeport (because of their waste disposal practices at the West Papuan Grasberg mine); and Canada’s Goldcorp – allegedly complicit in serious violations of human rights in Guatemala (see below).
But the company on which the Council seems to have focused most, of late, has been Vedanta Resources plc (to which, readers of this column will need little introduction). While the Swedish Council’s overall concerns mirror those of its neighbour, the Norwegian Council on Ethics, its approach to corporate offenders  is markedly different. Since 2006, the Norwegian government has sold all its shares in several miners, including Vedanta, Freeport, Rio Tinto, Barrick, DRD Gold and Norilsk. But Sweden hasn’t yet dispensed with any mining-related stake.