The Swedish Investment Fund Association (Fondbolagens förening) has updated its marketing and information guidelines for fund providers around a particular section relating to “Standards for sustainability information”.
The section has been updated to reflect requirements on fund providers to report their work involving sustainability, to ensure that they follow a common standard for reporting the relevant information to investors.
Since 1 January 2018, legislation has applied that requires information brochures on funds and annual reports to include information on sustainability. The legal requirement applies to Swedish securities funds, regardless if they are managed by Swedish or foreign fund managers. The requirement also applies to Swedish and foreign Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) that are marketed to non-professional investors in Sweden. Each fund must deliver information about the fund’s management in regard to questions regarding the environment, social conditions, personnel, respect for human rights and combating corruption.
The Fund Association has worked on an industry standard to facilitate fund providers meeting the legal requirements in a way that gives investors the opportunity to compare and evaluate funds’ sustainability work. The Association has chosen to integrate the sustainability guidelines in its “Guidelines for fund companies’ marketing and information”, which its members have expected to follow. The guidelines use established definitions of sustainability that reflect the perspective of investors, the Association noted.
“Funds should report if they take into consideration environmental aspects, social aspects and company board aspects. Additionally, funds should state which methods they use. If the fund company has stated that sustainability aspects are taken into consideration in management they should also inform how the methods have been used during the year,” the Association noted.
Details of the reporting requirements and how they will apply to funds focused on different asset classes, as well as depending on whether they are domestic or foreign funds, are available here (in Swedish): http://www.fondbolagen.se/PageFiles/8529/Fr%c3%a5gor%20och%20svar%20om%20standard%20f%c3%b6r%20h%c3%a5llbarhetsinformation.pdf