NETHERLANDS - The €2.5bn Dutch industry wide pension fund PNO Media has announced it will sharpen its social responsible investment (SRI) policy and procedures following pressure from the broadcaster Llink.
The fund is currently looking for an SRI research provider to help it implement an SRI strategy.
Last month, Rotterdam-based Llink, the smallest Dutch broadcaster, said it would leave the PNO if the scheme did not change its investment policy. It started a petition after it appeared that PNO invests in contentious companies,
The fund today announced it would amend its SRI code, despite earlier divestments following changes to its code in April this year.
Hilversum-based PNO said in a statement today: "We...have decided to test the code again against the conceptions of standards and values in our society and those of our participants."
It added: "Next to this, we decided to heavily sharpen the procedures focused on the compliance of our code."
PNO's investment management has been outsourced entirely to external asset managers but is unclear if the changes will force PNO to replace managers.
"We want our asset managers to apply the code in a uniform way," the scheme said in its statement. For this reason, PNO has decided to not only amend the code, but also its procedures: "Currently, we are in talks with a few specialised external research institutes," the fund added.
PNO wants to appoint one of these firms to screen all its investments "in a structured way" and to apply, where necessary, its voting rights on shares. It expects make the appointment in the third quarter of 2007.
A spokeswoman for Llink said it has been in discussions with PNO over several months over the fund's investments, adding that Llink welcomes the move. PNO was not available for comment.
Elsewhere, the UK Social Investment Forum said it has launched a free online sustainable pension library for UK occupations pension funds.
The library intends to provide a simple "one stop shop" for pension fund trustees and managers who want to learn more about responsible investment.
The library is available at www.uksif.org/splibrary.