The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) today co-ordinated a letter signed by investors from organisations with over £550 billion in assets under management to Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and Steve Webb, Minister of State for Pensions, urging the Government to take up the Law Commission’s recommendations on ESG and stewardship issues, while asking the Government to consider statutory clarification.
Simon Howard, UKSIF Chief Executive, said:
“We live in a world where issues such as climate change, resource depletion and human rights practices are coming under increasing scrutiny. It is therefore essential that the government gives absolute certainty to pension trustees that they can and should consider the full range of sustainable investment approaches necessary for the type of
long-term decision-making that grows the value of beneficiaries’ assets.
We were delighted with the Law Commission’s views that environmental, social and governance factors should be taken into account where financially material, and think the draft guidance they have provided will be tremendously useful. We would urge the Government to quickly push forward with the Commission’s recommendations, on stewardship and ESG issues.
However, we believe that statutory clarification of some aspects of the law in line with the Law Commission’s views is still the most effective way to protect the public’s pensions and savings, and is a much stronger statement of the Government’s commitment to long-term investment. We therefore call upon Vince Cable and Steve Webb to consider statutory clarification to provide pension trustees with the greatest possible confidence to consider the full range of investment approaches.”
List of signatories:
Simon Howard, Chief Executive, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association
Fouad Benseddik, Director of Methodology and Institutional Relationships, Vigeo Rating
Paul Ellis, Chief Executive, Ecology Building Society
Katherine Garrett-Cox CBE, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Trust
Peter Harrison, Head of Investments, Schroder Investment Management
Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer, Big Society Capital
Ian Simm, Chief Executive, Impax Asset Management
Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors
Danielle Walker Palmour, Foundation Director, Friends Provident Foundation
Peter Webster, Chief Executive Officer, EIRIS
Rob Wylie, Chairman, WHEB Group
Read the full press release here.