UK - The UNISON Staff Pension Scheme has awarded Standard Life Investments a £140m (US$280.5m) UK and overseas active equity mandate.
David Limb, chair of the trustees of the UNISON Staff Pension Scheme, commented: "We have applied an SRI policy to our investments for some time. Such a policy, especially when it includes active engagement, is very important to us."
In September 2003, the pension fund invested £100m in a Morley SRI fund.
At the time, it was the largest commitment to an SRI fund by a pension scheme.
Julie McDowell, head of SRI, Standard Life Investments, said: "In this case, we are implementing specific screening criteria which exclude investment in tobacco and defence companies as well as companies that play a significant role in private finance initiatives in the UK health and education sectors.
"UNISON is also keenly interested in engagement with companies on SRI issues, in particular on supporting principles and rights at work and these are all elements we are incorporating within their investment remit."
The UK Social Investment Forum (UKSIF) recently announced the inaugural National Ethical Investment Week, to encourage pension fund trustees to invest responsibly.
The event is scheduled for to run 18-24 May 2008 and is intended to build on the six-fold increase in assets heading to ethical funds than a year ago.
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Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) faces a £102m impact on liabilities as a result of equalising guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs), according to its annual results.
Malcolm Mclean says getting the channels of communication right and engaging more openly is a good starting point