UK leads the way in sustainable finance with the first set of requirements for investment management

28 October 2020

BSI, in its role as the UK National Standards Body, has today published the first specification for responsible and sustainable investment management. It addresses the policies and processes needed to create and embed a responsible approach to investment management.

It is the second publication from the Sustainable Finance Standardization Programme delivered in collaboration with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the UK financial services industry in support of the UK Green Finance Strategy. Its launch coincides with the UK preparing to assume the G7 presidency and host next year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), placing a spotlight on the need for business to unlock sustainable finance in order to build resilience, particularly for those operating in the world’s most climate vulnerable countries.

The new standard, PAS 7341:2020, Responsible and sustainable investment management - Specification, sets out the requirements to establish, implement and manage the process of integrating responsible and sustainable considerations into investment management.

It is structured across five key principles of sustainable investment:

  1. Governance and culture
  2. Strategy alignment
  3. Investment processes
  4. Investor rights and responsibilities
  5. Transparency

It underlines the importance of effective disclosure to appropriate stakeholders, and builds on existing industry guidance, principles and regulatory developments.

Scott Steedman, Director of Standards at BSI, said: “The financial system is playing a crucial role in helping to rebuild a more sustainable future through responsible economic growth. This is the first consensus for delivering responsible investment management at corporate level. The new standard, called PAS 7341, creates a way for financial management organizations to transition from ‘responsible’ to ‘sustainable’ investment management. In our role as the UK National Standards Body we are proud to support the government’s Green Finance Strategy with this globally relevant, pioneering and practical standard.”

Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, said: “Transforming our financial system for a greener future is crucial as we build back better from Covid-19 and to meet our legally binding target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Building on our pioneering Green Finance Strategy, this new standard will help the UK investment sector become even more sustainable as we strive to lead the world in tackling climate change.”

This free to download standard has been produced by a steering group1 of technical experts made-up of organizations from the UK finance eco-system.

Download the free standard here.

 

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Notes to the editor:

To find out more about BSI’s Sustainable Finance Standardization Programme, and the organizations involved, please visit: https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/about-bsi/uk-national-standards-body/BIS-Exploring-new-areas-with-government-funding/projects/Sustainability/sustainable-finance/Sustainable-Finance-Standardization-Programme/

1Steering group members

Aviva Investors Global Services Limited; Brunel Pension Partnership; CFA Society of the UK; City Hive; Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS); The International Business of Federated Hermes; Investment Association; Scottish Widows; P1 Investment Management; PRI Association; Smith School Oxford; Sustainalytics; Transparency Task Force; Tribe Impact Capital; Vigeo Eiris; WWF UK.

Publicly Available Specification (PAS) standards

PAS standards are characterized by their development process, which includes:

  • Sponsorship by private companies, industry, government and trade associations
  • Oversight by a steering group of experts constituted specifically for the purpose, and chaired by a BSI staff member independent of any external interest
  • Active public consultation, usually of shorter duration than for a British Standard, and targeted in particular at a selected review panel identified as having expertise and a close interest in the subject matter

Find out more about PAS standards here: https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/our-services/developing-new-standards/Develop-a-PAS/what-is-a-pas/