10 February 2021
Bouwinvest is to adopt the principles set out in the Covenant for International Socially Responsible Investing (IMVB) which has been signed by 80 Dutch pension funds, including 14 of its clients representing 98% of assets under management. The IMVB provides tangible methodologies to enable pension funds to improve the way they manage the environment, climate change, human rights, labour rights and governance across the investment process.
By signing the Covenant, pension funds agree to monitor their investment processes for transgression of the IMVD and rectify any breaches of the principles such as human rights violations and environmental damage. In practice, this means that pension funds will translate into policy the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECDG) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Outsourced investments will also be monitored on this basis.
The IMVB provides investment managers, such as Bouwinvest, with guidelines for monitoring and reporting on the impact of their investment processes.
For its part, Bouwinvest will communicate to stakeholders the results of adopting the IMVB together with any issue arising from its implementation and a clear action plan to address these so as to comply on time with the agreements made by pension funds under the Covenant.
The Covenant’s objectives are aligned with our mission statement of achieving: ‘Real Value for Life,’ so in coming months we will refine our policies using the OECDG and UNGP tools, as follows:
- Further develop our policies to address any gaps with the IMVD;
- Analyse any impact on our products and adjust, where necessary;
- Analyse and improve our data and systems as required;
- Examine where we can improve our customer reports, and how to do this;
- Create internal awareness and action plans;
- Make our actions clear and transparent for customers and other stakeholders.
We also face new European legislation that overlaps with the IMVB. As of March 10, 2021, the regulation on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector (“SFDR”) comes into effect. The SFDR aims to harmonize sustainability disclosures and Bouwinvest’s financial products fall within its scope. We have performed a SFDR gap analysis and aim to implement it by the 10 March deadline. We will inform shareholders before then [on our financial products certification]
The SFDR and the IMVB overlap as both cover many similar subjects but differently. We will link them as much as possible, although the timelines may vary due to the legal requirement for SFDR.