NETHERLANDS - The Philips Dutch pension fund is planning to invest its assets in the future under the terms of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) and allocate a portion of its assets to responsible investment.

A statement issued today by the pension fund said Harry Hendriks, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the pension fund, signed the Principles yesterday and all investments will from now be periodically assessed under environmental and social governance (ESG) criteria such as the environment, human rights, working conditions and good corporate governance.

The fund launched a pilot project in 2008 to integrate ESG into its investments, and already measures the ESG content of all equity portfolios.

As a next step, officials will allocate "a portion" of the fund's assets to "clear frontrunners in the ESG field" such as businesses providing alternatives sources of energy, in part because the corporate aim of Philips to improve the quality of life through the adoption of energy-saving solutions.

Philips has been attempting to improve its investment strategy as the fund saw its cover ratio fall 3% in the first three months of this year to 118%, even though it had managed to deliver an almost flat return for 2008, when other schemes saw their buffers funds lose value. (See earlier IPE article: Philips scheme sees limited cover fall)

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