RI Briefing, February 23: Trillium develops investment vehicle for “SRI 3.0”

RI’s regular round-up of sustainable finance news.

Trillium Asset Management is developing a new investment vehicle that will be “state-of-the-art SRI 3.0”, according to Chief Investment Strategist Farnum Brown. The third phase of SRI will provide “quantifiable environmental, social and governance factors that measurably improve corporate financial performance and investor returns,” he argues here
The UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has launched a review of its 2009 Responsible investment in private equity: A guide for Limited Partners. The PRI is seeking input from the private equity sector with investors and advisers invited to complete a short questionnaire. The closing date is March 18.

Dutch-based asset management boutique Institutional Management Services has taken over the Fund for Fair Future from the Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society. The €118m fund is an institutional fixed income fund focused on social development. Link (Dutch)

The European Commission is co-financing four initiatives to encourage national corporate social responsibility platforms in a number of European countries. It has allocated funding for initiatives in Macedonia, Croatia, Slovakia and Estonia. Announcement

Media giant Bloomberg has launched an Islamic Finance Platform for Sharia-compliant investing in fixed income, equities and money markets. It also launched a Malaysian Ringgit sukuk index. Elsewhere, Dow Jones Indexes has expanded its Islamic series with the new Dow Jones Islamic Market Global Finance & Takaful Index. And STOXX has launched a Europe Islamic Index and two blue-chip sub-indices, the STOXX Europe Islamic 50 and EURO STOXX Islamic 50.

Consultancy SustainAbility has completed phase three of its Rate the Raters project, a “deep dive” into 21 corporate responsibility ratings. The research has identified a number of good practices which every rater should consider.The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the 1.3m-member US environmental NGO, has joined the Governing Authority of the Climate Bonds Certification and Standards Scheme. It joins a group of institutional investors and NGOs on the authority, which aims to launch the first discussion paper on green bonds standards soon.

The Global Unions Committee on Workers’ Capital (CWC) has published Investing in Decent Work: Case studies of investor action on forced labour. The briefing paper presents investor case studies looking to engage with companies employing forced labour that could ultimately affect a company’s share price, operational performance and long-term ­financial viability.

The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), the church-based research and advocacy group, says banks need to address a broader range of social, ethical and environmental concerns if they are to regain public trust. The Banks and Society: Rebuilding Trust will be submitted to the UK Government’s Independent Commission on Banking, whose second round of consultation is due to begin.

Pension fund trustees can sign up to receive shareholder alerts on proxy voting and updates to the AFLCIO Key Votes Survey from the AFLCIO US labour union here. The AFLCIO Proxy Voting Guidelines have been developed as a guide for trustees voting their funds’ shareholder proxies. The Key Votes Survey rates the voting practices of investment managers on proposals representing a worker-owner view of value.

The NASDAQ OMX Global Corporate Solutions platform has added New York-based CRD Analytics’ (CRDA) proprietary industry and company ESG research. The addition includes industry benchmark and company focus reports as well as custom environmental analysis of companies in partnership with Trucost.