Eurosif January 2015 Newsletter

04 January 2015

Eurosif January 2015 Newsletter


In this issue:

 Shareholder Rights Directive 

2nd Global Sustainable Investment Study


Eurosif Update

Webinar: Clear Info – Harnessing the Power of Environmental Data for Regulators, Companies and Investors. On November 27, the UK Environment Agency, Eurosif and Trucost jointly hosted a policy webinar on the EU funded Project Clear Info. UK Environment Agency and Trucost representatives commented on the findings of this three year project in terms of the integration of environmental data to support better decision-making processes by companies. You can find the web recording here. On December 12, the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) released its first newsletter.  The GSIA tri-annual newsletter will provide you with the latest news from the seven largest Sustainable Investment Forums around the world: Eurosif, ASrIA, RIAA, RIA Canada, UKSIF, US SIF and VBDO.  To subscribe to the GSIA Newsletter please click here. To learn more about GSIA visit the website here. On January 27, Eurosif hosted exclusively for its Member Affiliates its first policy webinar for the year 2015. The update was delivered by Eurosif's Executive Director, Francois Passant and included:

  • An update on the progress of the Shareholder Right Directive.
  • An overview of the current state of the Capitals Markets Union initiative.
  • An update on the work progress of the New European Commission.

For Member Affiliates who missed the call, you can find the presentation and the web recording here.

Eurosif Policy

Shareholder Rights Directive Eurosif is actively supporting the proposed text of the Commission to revise the current Shareholder Rights Directive from 2007. This involves both a series of meetings with policy-makers and speaking engagements in Brussels. On December 14, Eurosif presented its views regarding the current proposal to revise the EU Shareholders' Rights Directive at a Socialists & Democrats Group Conference "Corporate Governance: Shareholders' rights – the key to ending short-termism in EU companies?" in the European Parliament. Panellists included Sergio Cofferati, the JURI Rapporteur on the dossier as well as Ms. Paraskevi Michou, Acting Director General at the European Commission, DG Justice. The Eurosif SRI Agenda for EU policy makers was distributed to an audience of about 100 Brussels professionals and policy-makers together with Eurosif's detailed position on the SRD Proposal.  You can download the full speech delivered by François Passant, Eurosif’s Executive Director, here. The Rapporteur for the Proposal on the Shareholder Rights Directive, Sergio Cofferati (S&D, Legal Affairs Committee) published his draft report on December 14. The report can be found here. The Shadow Rapporteur, Ole Ludvisson (S&D, Economic Affairs Committee), published his report on November 19. His report can be found here. Comments on the draft report can be received until late January 2015. Capital Markets Union (CMU) The CMU concept was introduced by European Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker, when presenting his vision and policy guidelines for the new European Commission last July 2014. The main idea is to unlock the potential of non-bank financing of the economy – especially for SMEs, to decrease Europe’s “bankcentricity”. CMU is the key political priority for DG FISMA. A Green Paper is expected to be published by the Commission in the course of February and will be followed by a consultation. Ensuring that CMU initatives include sustainability considerations will be a key priority for Eurosif over the next months. Members and Member Affiliates will find a backgrounder on the Capital Markets Union here. Commission Work Program The Commission has recently published its 2015 work programme. The programme is grouped around 10 key themes and launches 23 new initiatives, far less than under previous legislatures. The programme can be found here:

Eurosif Research

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA), of which Eurosif is a member, will launch its second global sustainable investment study on February 11. The study will be posted on Watch this space!

SIF News

FFS Italian pension funds engaging banks on climate change. As a co-leader of the initiative promoted by BCAM through PRI, Fondo Cometa - Italy’s largest pension fund - together with 14 Italian funds (representing €23 billion AuM overall) have recently sent a letter to 40 international banking institutions, asking for disclosure on how they are addressing climate change risks. FIR Public SRI label in 2015. French government is still working with SRI community and different stakeholders, including NGOs, for a rapid launch. Afterward, main issue will be the possible implementation of fiscal incentives based on this Label in life insurance and equity savings plans. More info

FNG The pilot phase of the EU funded Sustainable Investment Training Course is due to start in June 2015. The course particularly addresses financial advisers and is developed and coordinated by an international team consisting of nine partners – among them FNG. No fee is required for the course. For registration and further information please visit
SPAINSIF On December 11, SPAINSIF unveiled “The Spain SRI Observatory 2013” study. The study was sponsored by BANKIA, BBVA and Santander Bank .You can find the study here. In addition, SPAINSIF released its bimonthly newsletter, click here to learn more.
For the fifth year in a row the VBDO presents its extensive benchmark study ‘Sustainable Investing by Insurance Companies in the Netherlands’. The objective of this benchmark is to give insurance companies and their stakeholders’ insight into the level of responsible investment by examining their governance, policies, implementation and transparency. The overall results show a continuous improvement in the scores of the participating insurance companies. This demonstrates their commitment to investing responsibly and sustainably. You can download the study here.


Member Affiliate News

Etica Sgr - Online the new website, with enriched content and better user experience, entirely accessible in Italian and English. Upcoming a sustainability section presenting all the content from the integrated report and a reserved area for investors and distributors. Visit the site here: RobecoSAM Roundtable on toxic chemicals Intensified legislation on toxic chemicals impacts chemical manufacturers and retailers. As consumer awareness grows, these companies are evaluating the negative implications of hazardous chemicals for their image and competitiveness. At the same time, they are investigating opportunities to develop less toxic alternatives. We believe investors should be considering these implications in their analysis. The topic provided a nice platform for trying a new engagement tool: a roundtable with chemicals companies.Learn more here. Highlighting the benefits of Sustainable Investments: Candriam  has recently published a Q&A session with its investment experts  discussing the powerful ‘double alpha’ potential of a combined SRI and quantitative investment approach. Find out more on Candriam’s dedicated SRI website. Inrate establishes itself as a leading shareholder services provider in Switzerland. zRating, an affiliate of Inrate, successfully expanded its shareholder services in 2014. There are currently more than 40 pension funds, retirement schemes, collective foundations and investment trusts using the corporate governance and voting recommendation services provided by zRating. Further information here.

Member Affiliate Research

Oekom research published a position paper on hydraulic fracturing (fracking). It documents facts and arguments of the public debate and outlines how oekom research evaluates fracking in the framework of its Corporate Rating. The paper can be ordered free of charge from EIRIS: The Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, the first wide-scale project to rank companies on their human rights performance, has been launched: Sustainalytics released a new pharmaceutical sector report that assesses the ESG performance of 132 pharmaceutical companies. The report also offers insight into the most significant investment risks and opportunities facing the industry. To access the webinar replay and to download a copy of the executive summary click here. What do companies report? Vigeo released its second study on the worldwide evolution of Corporate Responsibility reporting practices between 2008 and 2014.. Learn more here.


International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) - 2015 Madrid Event Date(s): 02/03/2015 - 03/03/2015 Register here –  Members of Eurosif will receive a discount. International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) - ICGN Annual Conference London Date(s): 03/06/2015 - 05/06/2015 Learn more here

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