UK - The £1.7bn UK Environment Agency Pension Fund has invested in a specially-designed "eco-enhanced" index fund run by State Street Global Advisors.
The fund will closely track the FTSE350 Index using research provided by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, which analyses performance on environmental, social and strategic governance issues. This is used to gauge their impact on competitiveness, profitability, and share price performance.
Innovest’s research will be used by SSgA as the basis for taking over or underweight positions on individual stocks in the index.
The agency’s chief executive Baroness Barbara Young said: “Given our mandate as the Environment Agency, this new fund represents a very logical way to encourage strong environmental performance from UK companies while still minimising investment risk and pursuing an important level of out-performance.”
Baroness Young added that the fund was primarily concerned with providing the best possible financial returns for its beneficiaries.
But she said there was “a growing and compelling body of evidence that superior environmental management can actually reduce a company’s risk level and improve its financial importance”.
*Innovest Strategic Value Advisors’ European managing director Neil Marsh has resigned after less than 10 months in the post.
He attributed his move to increasing differences in opinion on the operational and strategic direction of the European business.
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