NETHERLANDS - PGB, the €10bn pension fund for the printing industry, has placed €25m in renewable energy, as the opening investment of a socially-responsible investment (SRI) portfolio.

Its initial investment in DIF Renewable Energy will be channelled into wind and solar energy projects, as part of the recently reviewed investment strategy which will see PGB increase focus on SRI, according to the industry-wide scheme.

This new portfolio amount to 2% of PGB's assets and besides investments in clean energy, it will also contain microcredit investments as well as financial institutions and funds "which contribute directly to the sustainability of society and environment".

In addition, PGB has decided to have its existing investment portfolio checked every six months for ESG risks, using the UN's Global Compact Principles as a benchmark.

"The first green investments fits perfectly into PGB's policy to increasingly take sustainable investment criteria into account," said Dirk Wieman, chief investment officer of GBF - PGB's pension provider.

"Sustainable energy is an important growth market, and PGB reckons that social and financial returns will go together in the long term," he added.

The new portfolio comes at the expense of fixed income investments, which the scheme wants to reduce from 45% of its total assets to 39% by the end of the year.

PGB has also decided to decrease its equity allocation by 2% to 43%, while investments in alternatives will increase from 2% to10% this year. Its alternatives portfolio also consists of infrastructure (2%), commodities (3%), hedge funds (2%) and liquidities (1%).

Being the scheme for the printing industry, PGB has recently started being active in related areas of the media sector, such as publishing as PGB says it wants to become the pension fund for the media.

PGB is among the 10 largest industry-wide schemes in the Netherlands as it has 50,000 active participants and 35,000 pensions. Approximately 2,800 employers are associated with the pension fund.

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