Netherlands: Over 70 pension funds sign covenant on sustainable investment

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Article
12 February 2019

Dutch funds team up for OECD Guidelines

Author: top1000funds.com

In December 2018, dozens of Dutch pension funds and other stakeholders pledged to prevent or tackle any negative consequences to society or the environment from pension fund investment...

Under the IRBC, all pension funds, regardless of their size or capacity, are given encouragement and support to carry out and report their due diligence in implementing the OECD guidelines...

[T]he IRBC now lays out how this process should take place...

Transparency is an important aspect of the IRBC. Pension funds have agreed to detail in their annual report how their investment policy takes the environment and climate, human rights and social relationships into account. Investors have also agreed to publish their Statement of Investment Principles on their website. They will also publish the names of the companies and investment funds in which they were invested over the previous period...

In the first year of the IRBC, pension funds, government, unions and NGOs will work together on developing a toolbox...

In the second and following years, pension funds will adapt their policy, monitoring and reporting to the agreement.

The second unique feature of the agreement is the co-operation of pension funds, government, unions and NGOs on selected cases...

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Article
21 December 2018

More than 70 Dutch schemes back sustainable investment covenant

Author: Leen Preesman and Frank Van Alphen, Investments & Pensions Europe

More than 70 large Dutch pension funds with combined assets of almost €1.2trn have signed a covenant with NGOs, trade unions and the Dutch government pledging worldwide co-operation on sustainable investment.

The aim of the agreement is to exert worldwide influence on policies and outcomes related to human rights, labour conditions and the environment...

By mapping risks and negative impacts of investments, based on the UN’s Guiding Principles for businesses and human rights and OECD guidelines, companies must provide pension funds with a better picture of where human rights violations and environmental damage occur.

This would enable pension funds to mitigate risks and use their influence for solving problems, using the expertise, experience and networks of the other participants in the covenant...

The signatories said they would co-operate on six projects – to be announced next year – aimed at boosting the impact of pension funds...

The pension fund of chemicals giant DSM and KLM’s scheme for ground staff have already announced that they have signed the document...

The signatories must factor the OECD guidelines – stipulating how pension funds must trace and report risks – into their ESG policy within two years.

A yet-to-be-established monitoring committee will check how schemes honour their commitments.

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Article
20 December 2018

Pension funds sign up to cooperate on sustainable investment

Author: Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands

By investing their assets, pension funds can exert influence worldwide, for example in relation to human rights and the environment. In order to exert that influence more efficiently, a better understanding of the risks in the global investment chain and cooperation with local partners are required. 73 Funds, which together represent 1179 billion euros in invested assets, are signing the agreement...

By clearly identifying – on the basis of UNGPs and OECD guidelines – worldwide risks and negative impacts from investments, pension funds will gain a clearer picture of the places where risks and impacts occur relating to human rights violations or environmental damage... With this information, they can reduce risks and exert their influence to solve problems...

Under the agreement, parties will work together on six projects in which cooperation can increase the influence of pension funds. The first case will be made known in January.

Three ministries, six NGOs and three trade unions are signing this agreement, giving it broad support...

The agreement was arrived at with guidance from the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER). With this new agreement, signatories will work within the financial sector on international responsible investment. Earlier agreements have been reached with banks and insurers...

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