NAPF publishes SRI guide ahead of trustee deadline

UK – The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) have published a socially responsible investment (SRI) guide for pension funds – Engaging for Success – in time for the July 3 deadline when UK pension fund trustees have to disclose a statement of investment principles.

The guide includes a section on engagement policies and how pension funds, as shareholders, can use their voting powers to impact on company policies. It also discusses whether a code of ethics is sufficient: “It cannot be assumed that because a company has a code of conduct or a procedure, e.g. monitoring customer complaints or factory emissions, that either the code or the procedures are being followed.”

Also, during the summer a web-based IBE-sponsored service, networking companies with basic socially and ethically responsible credentials, GoodCorporation, will be available to subscribers.
A set of benchmarks is included in the pilot draft of the GoodCorporation Charter in section four of the guide in order to encourage companies who have not addressed SRI issues, to begin the process.

The guide follows the launch of Just Pensions, a joint project between development charity War on Want and fair trade organisation Traidcraft, which published a more general guide on SRI earlier this week. NAPF and Just Pensions worked in co-operation, whilst publishing their guidelines.

The NAPF guide has been written by Simon Webley of IBE and NAPF’s shareholder voting issues services team. It is aimed at NAPF’s Engagement Partnership, which provides investors with information on FTSE350 companies.

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