Pensions regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) has launched a survey of Dutch pension funds’ ESG policies.
Conclusions from the survey’s results will be incorporated into the regulator’s practice for assessing financial and reputational risk, as well as for measuring schemes’ adherence to international agreements seeking to make investing more sustainable.
DNB said the survey would help it to identify best practice and that it would share its findings with the rest of the Dutch pensions industry.
Dagmar van Ravenswaay Claasen, head of DNB’s expert centre, and Patrick Corveleijn, project leader, said they had noticed that society is increasingly demanding sustainable behaviour from not only government and companies but also pension funds, which have “a great impact with their combined assets of more than €1.2trn”.
The regulator is looking for insight into risk profiles, benchmarks and investment products and seeks to gather information about valuations on capital markets, as well as the impact pension funds aim for.
It said the positive effects of ESG could help renew participants’ faith in the pensions system and that pension funds could support the transition to a sustainable economy.
The regulator will initially take stock of recent industry developments and subsequently assess pension funds’ annual reports to ascertain how integrated ESG is in their investment process.
It added that it would also look at motives, challenges and obstacles for sustainable investments, such as low market volumes and legal barriers.