Japan’s $1.3trn GPIF tenders mandate for international equity ESG indices

Move follows the adoption of three indices for Japanese shares earlier this year.

The $1.3 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund in Japan (GPIF) has taken a second major step in allocating a huge planned ¥3 trillion ($26.7bn) shift into shares with strong ESG characteristics by putting out a mandate for environmental indices for foreign equities, with the aim to start investing during 2018. The international share move follows an initial ¥1 trillion ($8.8bn) move into three ESG indices for Japanese equities; two run by MSCI and one by FTSE Russell, which were awarded in July. Link to RI article
The new mandates for environmental indexes for foreign equities, the size and number of which have not been disclosed, are open to applications until January 31, 2018.
GPIF said joint applications for the mandate are possible.It stipulates that candidates should have an office in Japan and lengthy experience in index construction and ESG research or experience in calculating indices by using data from an ESG assessment/research organisation.
GPIF is also asking for sufficient organisational capacity to handle queries from media and companies on ESG index evaluation methods.
The fund said it was particularly looking for indices that are supporting solutions to environmental problems.
Last week, GPIF announced that it had revised its investment principles to formally include environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors across all asset classes: Link to RI article