Eurosif, the European Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum, a pan-European network for promoting and developing SRI across Europe is launched today at the EC Belgian Presidency Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Brussels. The creation of Eurosif has been driven by the recent growth of interest in SRI across Europe, by a variety of actors, including the European Commission, NGOs and investment institutions.
Eurosif will enable the exchange of information and expertise and will act as a platform for all actors in Europe, interested in sustainable and responsible investment. Today, Eurosif has also launched its website – www.eurosif.info – the first pan-European access point on the web for information about sustainable and responsible investment.
Eurosif is an initiative of five European Social Investment Forums (SIFs) from France, the German speaking countries, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, with strong support from the European Commission (EC).
Dominique Bé, the EC DG for Employment and Social Affairs commented: "We are delighted to be supporting Eurosif with an initial grant. Eurosifs multi stakeholder approach has already been reflected in its initial membership base. By sharing their expertise and knowledge they can promote and encourage SRI to develop as a powerful tool to improve CSR. I look forward to seeing this expanded in the months to come." Founding members range from investment institutions to research providers, with a commitment and interest in SRI (see editors notes for a list of founder members).
Eurosif aims to promote the development and convergence of SRI across Europe. Evelyn van Royen, Eurosif’s project manager states: Establishing Eurosif is a huge step towards a convergence of SRI across Europe. I am inspired by our current members, who have tremendous expertise and knowledge in this field."
The launch of Eurosif is set to integrate and expand sustainable and responsible investment into the European financial services. Emma Howard Boyd, Vice Chair of the UK Social Investment Forum and founding chair of Eurosif states: "Recent studies have shown that despite the importance of green issues in Europe, the development of SRI in Europe lags behind both the US and the UK. With the growth of SRI expected to accelerate across Europe, Eurosif is ideally placed to help facilitate this."
Eurosifs aims are:
· To inform, educate and provide a European network for discussion about sustainable and responsible financial services.
· To initiate and publish research related to legislation, policies and practices for the integration of social, environmental and ethical issues into European financial services.
· To encourage transparency, disclosure and active ownership, with regard to corporate practice and governance on social, environmental and ethical issues.
· To actively expand the European SRI network, by supporting the development of existing SIFs and encouraging the creation of new national SIFs.
Following the launch, Eurosif will identify the best focus areas for activities in 2002. These are likely to include:
· Information gathering and dissemination on sustainable and responsible investment.
· Strengthening knowledge exchange on sustainable and responsible investment among investment industry stakeholders (eg. investment institutions, research providers, NGOs).
· Strengthening EU Policy Maker knowledge exchange with the sustainable and responsible investment community.
· Informing stakeholders in sustainable and responsible investment about relevant EU policy measures.
· Educating about and increasing awareness of sustainable and responsible investment.
The initial Eurosif work programme (to end May 2002) includes:
· Producing a pan-European response from the SRI community to the EC Green Paper on Corporate Social Responsibility.
· Running two pan-European information interchange events during 2002 in Paris and Frankfurt. The topics of the events will be (a) relations between investors and companies and (b) public policy and SRI.
The apparent need for a pan-European network on SRI and the commitment of founder members will ensure that Eurosif will have a sustainable future.
For further information or for material in other languages (French, German, Italian or Dutch), please contact Eurosif’s Project Manager, Evelyn van Royen on 00 31 (0) 345 523332 or e-mail email@example.com. See below for full address.
Notes to Editors
"We are delighted to be supporting Eurosif with an initial grant. Eurosifs multi stakeholder approach has already been reflected in its initial membership base. By sharing their expertise and knowledge they can promote and encourage SRI to develop as a powerful tool to improve CSR. I look forward to seeing this expanded in the months to come."
(Dominique Bé, European Commission)
"The SRI market in Italy is relatively small. We are confident that the launch of Eurosif will help the reinforcement of a more sustainable financial services sector throughout Europe. I believe that recent events in the international stage impose a re-discussion of what we used to take for granted. The multi stakeholder nature of this network can favour the progress of the dialogue between all actors involved" (Davide Dal Maso, Forum per la Finanza Sostenibile)
"Sometimes, a detour through Europe is a good way to make things move in France. There is no doubt that the existence of Eurosif will help to improve the credibility of socially responsible investment, encourage businesses to work out their appropriate criteria of sustainable development and improve their triple bottom line reporting" (Robin Edme, Forum pour lInvestissement Responsible)
"Recent studies have shown that despite the importance of green issues in Europe, the development of SRI in Europe lags behind both the US and the UK. With the growth of SRI expected to accelerate across Europe, Eurosif is ideally placed to help facilitate this." (Emma Howard Boyd, UKSIF, 18 November 2001)
"The foundation of Eurosif is a milestone in the history of the German SIF, too. Together with our partners abroad we are now able to achieve far more than before. Looking at the common interests and the strong relationships between its various members Eurosif will have a truly sustainable future." (Walter Kahlenborn, Forum nachhaltige Geldanlagen)
"In the process of globalisation the role of financial institutions is often criticised. The foundation of Eurosif, shows that financial institutions in Europe can and will take their responsibility for a sustainable and fair globalisation process. (Piet Sprengers, VBDO)
Establishing Eurosif is a huge step toward a convergence of SRI across Europe. I am inspired by our current members, who have tremendous expertise and knowledge in this field" (Evelyn van Royen, Eurosif)
Details of Partner Sustainable Investment Forum’s:
France: Forum pour lInvestissement Responsable
Contact: Robin Edme
Tel: +33 1 56 33 75 05
Germany: Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen
Contact: Walter Kahlenborn
Tel: +49 30 89 00068-40,
Italy: Forum per la Finanza Sostenibile
Contact: Davide Del Maso
Tel: +39 02 480 27024
Contact: Piet Sprengers
Tel: 00 31 345 532653
United Kingdom: UK Social Investment Forum (UKSIF)
Contact: Helen Barnes
Tel: +44 20 7749 4880
Details of Founder Eurosif Members:
Ethical Investment Research Service (EIRIS)
Friends, Ivory & Sime
Henderson Global Investors
Jupiter Asset Management
Morley Fund Management
Standard Life Investments
Triodos Bank NV
Eurosif Contact Details:
P.O Box 504
4100 AM Culemborg
Tel: 00 31 (0) 345 523 332
Fax: 0031 (0) 345 510 053