EUROPE – The European social investment forum is currently looking for a project manager to launch its campaign in creating a pan-European organisation for socially responsible investment (SRI). As part of the project, a response to the European Commission’s forthcoming CSR ‘Green Paper’ will be published on behalf of the member groups: Arese in France, Avanzi in Italy, the forum for German speaking countries in Germany, VBDO in the Netherlands and the British UKSIF.

The driving issue for the forum is to promote the case for SRI in Europe and to provide information on the subject.
Piet Sprengers, director of VBDO, comments: “ There are several things happening in the EU countries: in the UK and Germany legislation has been issued on transparency of sustainable investment for pension funds, and for example in the Netherlands, there is tax exemption for specific sustainable investments.
“ These are all ideas, which we think that could be implemented in other European countries.”

The project is set to start in July and the first task of the project manager is to open an internet portal on SRI in Europe and on other continents. Says Sprengers: “ The informative web site should be out in September at the latest, we want to get this started as quickly as possible.”

The organisations represent social investment forums in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK. The Swedish local authority asset manager KPA is a sponsor of the joint group. Basic information on the web site will be in Dutch, English, French, German and Italian, but the bulk of it will be published in English only.

The forum will hold four seminars during the project that is to evaluate itself in May next year. The first will be held in Amsterdam in June, the second one in London in September, the third one in Paris in February 2002, and the conclusive final meeting in Frankfurt am Main in May 2002.