Some of Europe’s largest pension funds have been included in a new list of the world’s most responsible allocators.

APG from the Netherlands (the asset manager for the €356bn ABP pension fund), Denmark’s PKA, the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, and France’s ERAFP were all named on the list, produced by US think-tank New America as part of its “Bretton Woods II” work on responsible investment. 

Collectively, the funds on what is known as the Bretton Wood II Leaders List manage $4.9trn (€4.2trn) in assets. They were distilled from an original pool of 300 sovereign wealth funds and large pension schemes.

“A 1% allocation of total assets to sustainable investments in the developing world would be equal to twice as much as all loans and financial services extended to developing countries by the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development in 2016,” said Tomicah Tillemann, director of the Bretton Woods II programme at New America.

Adrian Orr, CEO of New Zealand’s $25.9bn Superannuation Fund and chair of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, said: “For stewards of long-term capital, like sovereign wealth and government pension funds, the question was not whether they could afford to invest responsibly but rather, whether they could afford not to.

“No sensible asset allocator would knowingly invest in companies that pollute the environment, exploit labour or operate unethically, behaviour [that is] certain to destroy value over the long term.”

The Bretton Woods II concept, known as the Responsible Asset Allocator Initiative, was developed in partnership with the Global Development Incubator, Dalberg, and the Fletcher School at Tufts in the US.

The funds were ranked according to 10 criteria, including disclosure of ESG and related objectives, integration of these across the portfolio, implementation of strategies and benchmarks, commitment of resources, accountability, and partnerships with other investors and businesses.

Responsible Asset Allocators: Top 25 (alphabetically listed)

Source: New America/Bretton Woods II
Alberta Investment Management Corp Canada 95.7
AP Funds Sweden 195
APG Netherlands 531.76
ATP Denmark 118.9
British Columbia Investment Management Corp Canada 107.5
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec Canada 235.12
Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations France 231.2
California Public Employees’ Retirement System USA 331.9
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Canada 251.3
Commonwealth Superannuation Corp Australia 30.2
ERAFP France 26
Government Pension Fund – Global Norway 980.82
Ireland Strategic Investment Fund Ireland 10
Khazanah Nasional Berhad Malaysia 37.7
National Pension Service South Korea 521.8
New York State Common Retirement Fund USA 192
New Zealand Superannuation Fund New Zealand 25.9
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Canada 139.3
PGGM Netherlands 242
PKA Denmark 40.14
PREVI Brazil 74
Public Investment Corp South Africa 137.86
Public Sector Pension Investment Board Canada 135.6
Temasek Holdings Singapore 202.2
United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund Global 60.33