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ERAFP updates SRI charter to reflect diversification, 'urgency' of issues

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France’s €25bn civil service pension scheme has revised its socially responsible investment (SRI) charter to “more forcefully” take into account “changes in the extra-financial environment”, such as climate change and the fight against tax evasion.

The pension fund’s board of directors first approved an SRI charter in March 2006.

Announcing the revision today, ERAFP said that, since then, its investments had diversified and that its SRI approach had expanded – via the adoption of shareholder-engagement guidelines, for example.

It said “conditions have also changed since 2005”, with some issues having become “even more urgent”.

“The spirit of the charter remains unchanged but has been supplemented by mention of ERAFP’s role as an active shareholder through a policy of shareholder engagement based on formally defined guidelines, more forceful follow-up of controversies and measurement of the effective impact of the ESG criteria,” it said.

The latter aspect – impact measurement – is about being able to measure the “effective impact over time of the ESG selection criteria in the context of the ‘best in class’ approach, shareholder engagement and progressive reduction of the carbon footprint of ERAFP’s investment portfolio,” according to ERAFP.

It also said the diversification of its investments meant it felt the charter’s principles needed to be articulated “at operational level according of the specific characteristics of the various asset classes and regions”.

An extract of the board’s October 2016 decision to revise the charter states that “breaches of or complicity in breaches of recognised international standards by issuers” should “cease”.

It adds that the board of directors “stresses its desire to encourage the organisation in which it invests to implement a constantly improved management of their impact on society and the environment”.

“In particular,” it says, “it is in this sense that, in the event of failure of these attempts to influence, that exclusions may be decided.”

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