NETHERLANDS - Dutch institutional investors have dramatically increased their commitment to socially responsible investing in recent years, a report from the Association of Investors in Sustainable Development (VBDO) has revealed.
VBDO researcher Ernst van Weperen said big pension funds such as ABP and Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (the health and welfare sector pension fund which recently changed its name from PGGM) had been active in SRI for a number of years.
However, smaller pension funds in the Netherlands were starting to follow their lead, spurred on by the screening of a documentary which revealed pension fund assets were being invested in areas of concern such as weapons.
He said: "This is a very good development. It is quite impressive what they are doing, but there is still quite a lot to be done."
The report, which is part of a larger European study being conducted by Eurosif, found that of the €435bn in assets undergoing negative screenings, €356.6bn were being screened on the exclusion of weapons alone. This represented 36% of the total Dutch assets under management.
After simple screening, about €61bn is invested according to multiple ethical exclusion criteria.
The study also found positive screening has increased far less dramatically than negative screenings, increasing by 16% over the same period.
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