UK - The Universities Superannuation Scheme met government representatives on Wednesday to set out how schemes can increase their influence on designing and implementing ethical policies.
The meeting – chaired by Insight Investment in conjunction with the Royal Institute of International Affairs – is the first systematic evaluation of schemes’ influence on government ethical policy.
It is hoped that the collaboration will be the first stage in an ongoing dialogue between schemes, socially responsible investment managers and the government.
The meeting’s primary topics included climate change, pharmaceuticals and transparency in extractive industries.
Insight Investment investor responsibility director Kerry ten Kate (pictured) said schemes were becoming increasingly aware of companies’ ethics and had significant scope to influence performance.
She said: “A light-handed approach to regulation and policy – favouring voluntary approaches and market instruments – could enhance shareholder value.
“At the same time, investors can encourage companies to improve their performance on these issues, which could play a significant part in helping the government achieve its public policy objectives.”
Government policy-makers at the meeting comprised representatives from the Treasury, the department of trade and industry, the Financial Services Authority, the department of the environment, food and rural affairs and the Environment Agency.
The roundtable meeting was also attended by non-government agencies, including the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.
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