Yes, I agree with Francis Menassa. There are many examples of money managers in Europe that have embraced ESG investing.
For instance, earlier this year, one of Sweden’s national pension funds, Första AP-fonden (AP1), exited the nuclear weapons, tobacco, coal, and oil sands industries, following the introduction of new investment guidelines. The new guidelines state that the fund should contribute to sustainable development by managing money in an “exemplary” manner. Meanwhile, in Norway, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance recently completed the disposal of 17 companies that produce tobacco from the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG).
In the Netherlands, ABP, the pension fund for government and education employees, recently divested €4 billion worth of holdings in nuclear arms manufacturers and tobacco producers, as these investments no longer match the fund’s objective to invest sustainably and responsibly. Pensioenfonds Detailhandel, the pension fund for the Dutch retail sector, also recently divested nearly a third of its portfolio in order to refocus its investments on climate goals, human rights issues, and labour conditions.
In France, ERAFP, the pension fund for the country’s civil servants, has applied a socially responsible investment (SRI) policy since its inception in 2005.
So clearly, in Europe, sustainable investing has become very important to major fund groups.