FRANCE - Officials at the French national pension reserve fund, FRR, are moving to limit the impact of the body's own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, by investing in a Latin American ESG project generating green energy.

The €31.9bn fund executive commissioned Ecoact to conduct a study last year called the Bilan Carbone 2008, in a bid to raise employee awareness of the issues as well as reduce GHG. It found FRR emitted the equivalent of approximately 700 tons of CO2 (TEQCO2).

To counter these emissions, FRR has voluntarily chosen to work with a hydroelectric project in Trojes, Mexico, which generates energy via an electric turbine at a key three-river exit point of a dam.

The energy this turbine generates produces more than the 700TEQCO2 FRR needs to generate to offset its own emissions, and the project is validated by the United Nations as meeting conditions of the earlier climate change Kyoto Protocol. Thanks to this project, FRR was able to cancel the UN Certified Reduction Units it had previously bought in the regulated carbon trading market.

FRR has been increasing reviewing its own asset allocation and practices in relation to environmental and social governance, and publicly revealed its thinking in October through the release of a working document of ESG investment policy. (See earlier IPE story: FRR report mulls environment in investment policy)

At the same time as revealing its latest ESG move, FRR also announced it is issuing an RFP for €4-5bn in existing bond mandates.

Having only announced the latest tranche of bond appointments last week, FRR said it is now looking for up to five managers to invest on its behalf in global government bonds mandates from developed countries. (See earlier IPE story: Two down one to go: FRR signs fresh credit strategies)

A restricted procedure is being adopted and bids must be submitted by 12:00 CET on 29 January 2010. Further information and documents are available on or via the FRR website.

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