UKSIF (Sustainable Investment and Finance) says a recent survey shows a slight improvement in corporate pension funds with regards to responsible investment. This slight progress, however, does not indicate that corporations as a whole are gravitating towards sustainable investment, said the UKSIF.
“A large number of corporate pension funds are still lagging behind the leading schemes in their approach to responsible ownership and investment,” said Penny Shepherd, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Investment and Finance Association.
The UKSIF survey regards the responsible investment practices of 298 corporations’ pension funds. These corporations are all listed in the FTSE4Good responsible investment index or Carbon Disclosure Project leadership index.
This year, 19% of corporations responded regarding their pension funds. While this is hardly a majority, the number is up from 13% in the last survey in 2009. Of these 58 funds, 47 provided usable responses.
The funds were judged and received a rating of platinum, gold, silver, bronze or copper, depending upon answers to 17 questions regarding the implementation of responsible investment policies and strategies.
Of the 47 funds, 3 were ranked platinum, while only 1 scheme received platinum in the last survey. Schemes with top marks were the BT Pension Scheme, the Co-operative Group Pension Scheme and the F&C Asset Management Plan.
As well as a rise in platinum-ranking funds, the survey found 1 in 4 of the 47 are ranked either platinum or gold. This is up from 1 in 8 in 2009.
Michael Deakin, chairman of the UKSIF sustainable pensions advisory board, said: “Our report demonstrates heartening progress in the approach of leading corporate pension funds to responsible investment. In addition, the significantly higher response rate this year is a very welcome demonstration of increased transparency by corporate funds.”