NETHERLANDS - The €9.8bn pension fund for the printing and publishing industry Pensioenfonds Grafische Bedrijven (PGB) has awarded a €60m social responsible investment (SRI) mandate to asset manager Threadneedle.

Dirk Wieman, chief investment officer at PGB, said the mandate is part of the fund's continuous SRI efforts, started in March, when the fund placed €25m in renewable energy, as the opening investment of a socially-responsible investment (SRI) portfolio. (See earlier IPE story: ‘PGB starts SRI portfolio with green entry')

The €60m in assets is placed in an absolute return global environmental intensity mandate, run by Threadneedle's head of global equities, Jeremy Podger, Threadneedle.

"As a pension fund, we are convinced that this product will not only deliver solid returns to the participants of the pension fund, but also we believe the importance of environmental sustainability is irreversible," commented Wieman.

The mandate will focus on the environmental intensity concept, whereby a rating is awarded to each stock based on the impact that company has on the environment.

The companies in the portfolio will undergo a screening by ESG consultant Innovest Strategic Advisors.

Being the scheme for the printing industry, PGB has recently begun being active in related areas of the media sector, such as publishing, as PGB said it wants to become the pension fund for the media. (See earlier IPE story: ‘Graphics giant envisages €25bn media fund')

PGB is among the 10 largest industry-wide schemes in the Netherlands as it has 50,000 active participants and 35,000 pensions. Approximately 2,800 employers are associated with the pension fund.

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