January 2014

Eurosif January 2014 Newsletter

In this issue:
Call for Sponsors:  2014 European SRI Market Study Non-Financial Disclosure Proposal Update Consultation on Best Practice Principles for Governance Research Providers


Feedback and Contributions

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Eurosif Update

Welcome Eurosif is happy to welcome Novethic as a Member Affiliate. Novethic,a part of the Caisse des Dépôts Group, is a French research centre on Responsible Investment and a sustainability media expert. More information here. Call for Sponsors: 2014 European SRI Market Study. Eurosif is now offering sponsorship opportunities to interested parties for the upcoming 6th edition of its European SRI Market Study, to be released in early october 2014. This Study is the benchmark report on the European SRI market. As such, it is one of the most important publications that Eurosif provides for its affiliate membership and other interested readers on European SRI trends. The last edition of the study has been downloaded over 14,000 times. For more details, contact francois@eurosif.org. Webinar: Sustainable Investing Policy Developments – The View from Europe and the United States.On December 4, US SIF Foundation and Eurosif  jointly hosted a transatlantic policy webinar on Sustainable Investing Policy Developments. US SIF and Eurosif representatives commented on their key policy priorities regarding environmental, social and corporate governance issues. For Member Affiliates who missed the call, you can find the presentations and the audio recording here.Eurosif is planning to hold additional policy update webinars in the coming months. Eurosif will host a webinar in late February for Member Affiliates on the emerging responsible investment (and EU policy) issue of Farm Animal Welfare. The presentation will be given by the Business Benchmark for Farm Animal Welfare and will include:

  • An introduction to farm animal welfare as an investment issue, with a special focus on the EU regulatory landscape;
  • An overview of the current state of practice in business;
  • The manner in which investors can take account of farm animal welfare in their investment practices.

An invitation with the date and dial-in/log-in details will be emailed to all Member Affiliates in early February.


Eurosif Policy In early December, Eurosif, together with the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition (CSRC), sent a letter to numerous European Member State Representatives regarding Council and trilogue discussions on the European Commission’s non-financial and diversity information disclosure proposal. Eurosif urged the Council to progress the proposal without delay and adopt it without weakening its provisions before the Parliament elections in May. The full text of the letter can be found here. With the trilogue starting in January, we followed up this letter with meetings with representatives from France and Germany, as well as with the new Greek Presidency. Also in December, Eurosif met with several policy analysts in the Asset Management Unit of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Internal Market and Services for an update on the status of the Commission’s proposal regarding the Key information document (KIDs) for retail investors (PRIPS Directive). Eurosif recently responded to a public consultation on Best Practice Principles for Governance Research Providers. The Principles were developed in response to the recommendation made by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) that the proxy advisory industry should develop a Code of Conduct. Eurosif welcomed the initiative, but believes that more work is needed to strengthen the Principles in order to ensure their credibility and ultimate effectiveness. Eurosif’s full response is available here.


SIF News SPAINSIF On December 5, Spainsif and the Consumers Associations, ASGECO and CECU signed an agreement to promote the demand of the SRI retail products in Spain, with three main actuation lines; training and divulgation projects, awareness and research. More information here. FFS The Italian Forum for Sustainable Finance released a short video explaining what SRI means in simple terms. To view the video (in Italian with English subtitles), click here. 


Member Affiliate News The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare has released its second benchmark report, including a company-by-company ranking, on how global food companies (retailers, restaurants and bars, and food service companies) are managing farm animal welfare. The report was launched December 10 at an event hosted by BNP Paribas in Paris. For further information contact Nicky Amos at nicky@nicky-amos.co.uk. CSSP – Carbon footprints at the fund level, as well as on an individual portfolio basis, will soon be available to investors on yourSRI.com. Additionally, by February 2014, the implementation of Global ESG Company Ratings will be finalized. For more information, visit www.yoursri.com. EIRIS launched EGP, an innovative online solution for investors looking to integrate sustainability products and data into investment decisions. The platform provides analysis of ESG strengths and weaknesses of over 3,000 companies. Includes material risk indicator and drill-down criteria functionality. Trial licences are available. For more details, click here. Etica Sgr’s engagement and ESG processes are now ISO 9001:2008 certified. On December 6, 2013 DNV certified  the conformity of Etica’s ESG analysis and engagement processes to the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system. The certified processes involve both company’s open-end funds and advisory services. For further information please visit this link. Triodos Investment Management has recently initiated a programme to engage with EU companies on the issue of conflict minerals.  With the US reporting requirements already in place, operational, competitiveness and reputational risks exist for EU companies that do not yet disclose details regarding their use of such minerals and related supply chain due diligence. Eurosif Member affiliates are invited to join this collaborative engagement effort. For more details, including the letter and list of companies, please contact Arthur van Mansvelt, sustainability analyst at Triodos, at  avmansvelt@triodos.nl or +31 30 964 2559.  


Member Affiliate Research BlueOrchard has published its Annual Social Performance Report 2013: Achieving Social Objectives. This year’s report focuses on the microfinance investment manager’s Social Performance Objectives for 2013/2014 and provides examples of how BlueOrchard works to achieve these objectives to further strengthen the development of a sustainable inclusive financial system. When reviewing the Hotel & Restaurant sector, Dexia AM’s SRI analysts paid special attention to franchise development within the industry. Find out more about franchising’s impact on hotel groups’ management of environmental, social and governance aspects at ground level in their latest SRI article (available in February on Dexia’s SRI dedicated website). JPX-NIKKEI 400 CASE-STUDY: Nomura Equity Research has back-tested the new JPX-Nikkei 400 index and found more than 7% excess return when companies with downgraded environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are excluded. The analysis is based on ESG data from ECPI. Click here to read the full report. IIRC – The International Integrated Reporting (<IR>) Framework, released in December 2013, marks an important milestone in the market-led evolution of corporate reporting, aiming to contribute towards a more financially stable global economy. The Framework will be used to accelerate the global adoption of <IR>, currently being trialled in over 25 countries. Inrate has published its Sustainability Guide 2013 for investors. The Guide presents the sustainability performance of sectors and companies in the STOXX Europe 50 Index. The results are based on the new Inrate Sustainability Assessment which puts a particular focus on the environmental and social impact of companies. Download the full version here no charge. The Novethic Research Centre on RI published its annual survey on ESG practices of European Asset Owners. Novethic’s survey, one-of-a-kind in Europe, assesses the views of 165 long-term investors (pension funds, insurance companies, etc.) in 12 countries representing a total asset value of over €5 trillion on the integration of ESG criteria in asset management. Download the report“ESG Strategies of European Asset Owners: From Theory to Practice”here. See also, on Novethic website, the study “Green and social bonds, a promising tool”. Oekom research has analysed the way in which the world’s 36 major semiconductor companies are facing up to their social and environmental responsibilities and challenges. On a scale ranging from A+ (maximum score) to D-, STMicroelectronics achieved the highest rating, with a score of B+. It was followed by Intel and TSMC. For more information, please send an email here. Sustainalytics’ recent report 10 Companies to Watch in 2014 is a forward-looking report that provides examples of companies facing risks across a range of ESG issues. The collection of stories highlights some potentially material ESG issues that should be on every investor’s radar screen.Read the report here. Vigeo has released a study on the integration of CSR issues into corporate governance systems by 1,223 European, Asian and North American companies. Click here for more details.


Events 2014 ESG Trends to Watch –  MSCI Webinar Tuesday 28 January 2014, 4:00 p.m. GMT More information here. Geneva Forum for Sustainable Investment GFSI, 5th edition Friday 6 June 2014, Swissôtel Métropole More information here. Eurosif Member Affiliates will receive discount. Zürich Forum for Sustainable Investment ZFSI, 2nd edition Friday 13 June 2014, Hotel Baur au Lac More information here. Eurosif Member Affiliates will receive discount.


SRI Jobs For details of current SRI jobs, please see the jobs section of the Eurosif website here. To keep up to date with Eurosif activities, please follow us on Twitter!@Eurosif

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