Eurosif, the European Social Investment Forum, has finalised the Transparency Guidelines for the retail SRI financial sector to maintain and increase consumer confidence in this dynamic and high growth area. The pan-European effort is the result of a multi-stakeholder consultation that incorporated the views of the financial services community, research groups, NGO’s, trade unions and others.
Signatories of the Guidelines will have up to six months to implement the guidelines and the option to choose the media they wish in order to publish their responses. Signatories should be open and honest and disclose accurate, adequate and timely information to enable stakeholders, in particular consumers, to understand the SRI policies and practices related to the fund. Verification of the results will be decided by Social Investment Forums at the National level and will range from self-policing to third party verification.
Commenting on the Guidelines, Executive Director for Eurosif, Matt Christensen said, "The Eurosif Retail Guidelines are an innovative means for asset managers to show interested investors how they create and manage an SRI fund. The Dutch SIF, VBDO, did an excellent job in starting this effort in 2002 and Eurosif has now broadened it to include all of Europe. The Guidelines should not only help with the continuing professionalisation of the SRI sector, but also serve as a model for the financial community in Europe and abroad. I expect to see this initiative to feed similar efforts in other countries over time."
Early adopters who have tested the Guidelines and agreed to become signatories include:
ABN AMRO, ASN, Banca Etica, CIS, F&C, Hendersons, ING, Insight, Jupiter, Morley, Orange Sense, Postbank, Robeco, SNS, Standard Life and Triodos. It is expected that there will be a number of other signatories from across Europe going into 2005.
Eurosif will seek to make a database of all signatory responses available to the public. For further details and background information, please visit the section dedicated to the Guidelines on the Eurosif website at:
For additional enquiries, contact Eurosif by email at:
Editors Notes: About Eurosif
Eurosif (The European Social Investment Forum) is a pan-European group whose mission is to encourage and develop sustainable and responsible investment and better corporate governance. Current members of Eurosif include pension funds, financial service providers, academic institutes, research associations and Ngo’s. The association is a not-for-profit entity that represents assets totalling over 600bn through its membership. The key benefits members receive from Eurosif are EU lobbying, SRI information and European wide initiatives that promote and explain the SRI and Corporate Governance sectors.
Eurosif’s 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 above European network by supporting the development of existing SIFs and encouraging the creation of new national SIFs.
Eurosif Member Affiliates to date include:
AXA Investment Managers
Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
Dexia Asset Management
Economistas sin Fronteras
Ethical Investment Research Service (EIRIS)
Ethix SRI Advisors AB
Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens (FEE)
Fundaciòn Ecologìa y Desarrollo (ECODES)
F&C Asset Management
Henderson Global Investors
Jupiter Asset Management
KLD Research & Analytics
Nextra (Grupo Intesa)
Standard Life Investments
Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC)
Universiteit Nyenrode (EIBE)
National social investment fora to date include:
* Belsif, Belgium
* Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen, Germany
* Forum per la Finanza Sostenible, Italy
* Forum pour l’Investissement Responsable, France
* Swesif, Sweden
* UK Social Investment Forum, UK
* VBDO (Vereniging van Beleggers voor Duurzame Ontwikkeling), The Netherlands