Water is the word, says Eurizon Capital SRI
Water as a theme will dominate the SRI debate over the next decade, says Gianluca Manca (pictured), head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Eurizon Capital.
Back in 1996, Eurizon Capital, the asset management company of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, was the first manager in Italy to start offering the then generically named ‘ethical funds’, which used both positive and negative selection criteria and relied on a Sustainability Committee within the company.
“Throughout the years, we refined our selection criteria for sustainable investments up to adopting a proper benchmark in 2002, to offer an objective financial measure of the funds’results,” Manca explains.
Today, Eurizon Capital offers three SRI funds, all of which follow the Eurosif guidelines for transparency and sustainability. Two of these are bond funds and one is an equity fund, while all three are domiciled in Italy.
Sustainable investments for Eurizon Capital is a commitment that goes beyond simply offering SRI funds, Manca notes.
The manager recently worked alongside Italy’s financial advisers association Associazione Nazionale Promotori Finanziari (Anasf) to write a handbook encouraging advisers to promote and sell SRI products.
And in September last year, Eurizon Capital embraced the UN’s Environment Programme (UNEP-FI) and the UN GlobalCompact’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
An example of how this is leading to views on stocks comes via Manca’s explanation of the VW emissions scandal, which he suggests is down to an issue of data.
“Like similar cases before, the VW scandal has proven the importance of monitoring data reporting and the reliability of the material provided as evidence of good governance.
“In sustainable investing more than in any other investment area, the focus should really be on the natural and human capital. In other words, reliable good governance is absolutely key,” he says.