Eurosif Newsletter November 2010

Eurosif Newsletter November 2010

04 November 2010

Eurosif Newsletter November 2010

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Eurosif Update

Eurosif Responds to EC Consultation on Pension System Reform On November 15, Eurosif submitted its Response to the public consultation opened by the European Commission to address the adequacy, safety and sustainability of Pension Systems across Europe. Eurosif made recommendations in the following areas:

  • The possible introduction of a European-wide Code of Practice for Pension Funds to disclose how they engage with ESG issues (explore the good case practice of the UK Stewardship Code);
  • The introduction of mandatory Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations in Pension Fund Statements of Investment Principles;
  • The need to review the IORP Directive (Directive 2003/41/EC on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision) on the following aspects set out in the Directive: investment rules, custodianship and cross-border activity;
  • The importance of Pension Fund transparency in increasing pension engagement rates of European workers (particularly in the context of the general trend towards Defined Contribution Pension schemes).

The European Commission regularly updates the Pension Reform Consultation Webpage with further developments on the topic. All the Responses submitted by interested parties to this Pension Reform consultation process will be made public on this webpage. Eurosif will follow up directly with the European Commission to discuss our points with those involved.  For any questions, please contact us at +33 1 40 20 43 38 or lobbying@eurosif.org.

Eurosif to Address EC Officials at CSR Multistakeholder Forum Meeting Eurosif will speak at the EC’s 2010 CSR Multistakeholder Forum Meeting to take place on November 29-30 in Brussels. The meeting, which gathers over 250 participants from among CSR stakeholders (EC, institutional investors, NGOs, financial organisations, research providers, multinational companies, etc), aims at preparing the European Commission’s 2011 new Communication on CSR. Matt Christensen, Eurosif’s Executive Director, will be a panel speaker in a discussion on the priority issues to be addressed by the EC on CSR and SRI. Giuseppe van der Helm, Eurosif’s President, will moderate a discussion aiming to address ways to promote sustainable and responsible investment in Europe. For any questions, please email lobbying@eurosif.org.

Eurosif Publishes 2010 European SRI Study On October 13, 2010, Eurosif published its highly anticipated 2010 European SRI Study. Created with the support of Amundi, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Crédit Agricole Cheuvreux and Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management, the 2010 European SRI Study highlights the scale of the European SRI Market as well as European and National trends across nineteen countries, including for the first time the Baltic States, Poland, Greece and Cyprus. The total SRI assets under management (AuM) have increased from €2.7 trillion to €5 trillion, as of December 31, 2009. This represents a spectacular growth of about 87% since the data was previously collected two years ago.  The study has been presented at events in the Netherlands, France, UK, Spain, Italy and Switzerland, and will continue to be launched throughout Europe in the coming months.  The video highlighting key findings from the SRI Study is now available on Eurosif's Youtube channel.

Emerging Markets Theme Report to be Launched in December Eurosif, with the research help of Inrate, is currently working on its Emerging Markets theme report, to be published in early December.  As emerging markets play a large role in today’s global economy, the report explores the key corporate sustainability trends in these regions. The project’s steering committee is comprised of representatives from Bank Sarasin, ECPI, Etica Sgr, Foretica, Pictet and Robeco.  A launch event will be hosted by Inrate in Zurich on December 7 where the report will be presented and discussed.  For more information about this report or future sector/theme reports, please contact research@eurosif.org.

Eurosif Welcomes New Member Affiliates: AG2R La Mondiale & Hermes Equity Ownership Services Uniting a wide range of mutual societies, the AG2R LA MONDIALE group is guided by its commitment to creating value for its policyholders, members, staff and partners. Under the direction of its governance bodies, which focus on ensuring that the specific features of equality and mutualism are upheld, AG2R LA MONDIALE is constantly improving the quality of its products and services with a view to accompanying its policyholders throughout their lives. To defend and protect its policyholders’ interests as effectively as possible, AG2R LA MONDIALE listens to its policyholders in order to prepare for the future, anticipate life’s contingencies and meet the entire range of personal insurance needs. www.ag2rlamondiale.fr.

Hermes Equity Ownership Services (EOS) helps institutional shareowners around the world to meet their fiduciary responsibilities and become active owners of public and private companies. EOS' team of engagement and voting specialists monitor its clients' investments in companies and intervene where necessary with the aim of improving performance. EOS' activities are based on the premise that companies with informed and involved shareholders are more likely to effectively manage risk and achieve superior long-term performance than those without. Owned by BT Pension Scheme, the UK's largest pension fund, EOS has a strong commonality of interests with the global coalition of investors it represents. Hermes and the BTPS have extensive experience of implementing the United Nations' Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). EOS' Chief Executive Colin Melvin chaired the committee that drew up the original principles, and the current chair is a trustee of the BTPS. This insight enables EOS to help clients who wish to become signatories or have already achieved signatory status to meet the challenges of the PRI. www.hermes.co.uk/eos.aspx.

Eurosif Strengthens Social Media Presence To stay updated with our initiatives, you can now follow Eurosif on its Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and discussion group where we post daily the latest news about SRI events, the latest developments in SRI lobbying initiatives and research work.  In addition, you can also follow Eurosif on its Facebook page and profile to be updated in real time about our initiatives as well as the latest developments on the European SRI market.  A series of videos on SRI and Eurosif’s latest research reports, events and lobbying initiatives can be viewed on Eurosif’s YouTube video channel. Stay tuned!

Eurosif plans to respond to these public consultations.  Drafts of Responses will be sent to Member Affiliates prior to submission.  Please contact lobby@eurosif.org with any questions.

Strategy for Sustainable EU Energy Supply and Economic Growth Energy 2020 is a plan to cut consumption, boost market competitiveness, secure supplies, meet the EU's climate change goals and coordinate negotiations with suppliers. As energy demand is expected to rise quickly once the recession ends, the strategy aims to prevent shortages and support economic growth. Consumers will benefit from more competitive prices for oil, gas and electricity. The commission will spend the next 18 months working on cutting consumption (in the transport and building sectors especially) and creating a pan-European electrical grid that includes wind and solar energy sources. Read press release.

Unused EU Money to be Invested in Energy Efficiency Projects The European Parliament will release €146 million of unused EU funds to finance energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Amended legislation on the European Energy Recovery Plan (EERP) will channel the unspent money into a new fund, to finance projects involved in energy efficiency in renovations and newly constructed buildings, electricity grids, clean urban transport and smart local infrastructure. The fund will focus chiefly on helping local and regional authorities to pay for such projects, which must be economically and financially viable, so as to refund the investment in due course. The total €146.34 million will be available from January 1, 2011 and must be allocated by March  31, 2014. Read more.

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EU Update

The European Commission PublishesThe Single Market Act on October 27, 2010 The Single Market Act (“Towards a Single Market act, for a highly competitive social market economy