Fund Labels

Within the last 5 years, the number of dedicated sustainable and responsible investments (SRI) products has nearly doubled. However, there is still confusion about defining an absolute term, concept and methodology for ‘sustainability’ – and some forms of ‘sustainability’ seem to be more sustainable than others. In addition, SRI management processes are often too technical, complex and dubious for investors.

A variety of ‘sustainability’ labels have emerged that aim to provide certain quality standards. Their goal is to provide individual investors with a framework for SRI products and to offer more trans-parency about investment products.

The following list gives an overview about the various labels that are currently available:

b-corporation-certified
 
B Corp is to sustainable what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 950 Certified B Corps from 32 countries and 60 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.
climate-change-investment-awards-2012
 
The awards have broadened out from their original climate change focus to recognise wider environmental, ethical and corporate governance issues, as well as social impact investing; issues that continue to grow in importance and play a significant part in the political and news agenda, whether it be the living wage argument or solutions to the energy debate. The awards are aimed at fund managers, institutions and companies investing in these sectors, and whose work promotes a greater understanding of the potential for investing in environment, ethical and social themes.
yoursri-diamondstandard2012-f
 
The yourSRI Diamond Standard is as an objective quality label. For investors, it is not only a challenge to gain a detailed picture of the SRI quality of a fund, but also to do so quickly. In addition to the objective transparency and evaluation of sustainability, the intelligibility of the information provided is therefore becoming increasingly important as well. True to its motto “For Transparency in Responsible Investing”, this label provides guidance to investors and the interested public, indicating that a neutral sustainability rating is available which is independent of product providers and compiled on the basis of strict and objective criteria.
ehtibel-excellence
 
Ethibel EXCELLENCE is a quality mark for investment funds which exclusively invest in shares or bonds included in the Investment Register and with an A, B or C rating. These are usually companies which are above average in most domains of their industry in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
ethibel-pioneer
 
Ethibel PIONEER is a quality mark for investment funds which exclusively invest in shares or bonds included in the Investment Register and with an A or B rating. These are usually companies which are leading in all domains of their industry in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
fng
 
Tracing its roots to the European Transparency Guidelines unveiled in 2004, the European SRI Transparency Code (the Code), first launched in May 2008, primarily aims at increasing accountability and clarity of SRI practices for European investors. The principle driving the Code is that asset manager signatories should be open and honest, and disclose accurate, adequate and timely information to enable stakeholders, in particular retail investors, to understand the policies and practices of a given SRI fund. The Code focuses on SRI funds distributed publicly in Europe and has been designed to cover a range of asset classes, such as equity and fixed income. Towards this objective, Eurosif has created a logo specific to the Transparency Code which can be used by signatories once their responses to the Code have been updated and reviewed by their national Sustainable Investment Forum.
global-reporting-initiative
 
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a leading organization in the sustainability field. GRI promotes the use of sustainability reporting as a way for organizations to become more sustainable and contribute to sustainable development. ​GRI has pioneered and developed a comprehensive Sustainability Reporting Framework that is widely used around the world. GRI’s mission is to make sustainability reporting standard practice for all companies and organizations. Its Framework is a reporting system that provides metrics and methods for measuring and reporting sustainability-related impacts and performance.
green-property
 
For the first time, Switzerland has a comprehensive label that rates the sustainability of real estate on an integral basis.greenproperty was developed by Credit Suisse Real Estate Asset Management in collaboration with Amstein + Walthert, a Zurich-based engineering and planning practice.
luxflag
 
The Luxembourg Fund Labelling Agency (LuxFLAG) is an independent international labelling agency which aims to promote the raising of capital for Responsible Investment sectors by awarding a recognisable label to investment funds. Its objective is to reassure investors that the applicant investment fund invests, directly or indirectly, in the responsible investment sector. Launched in May 2014 the LuxFLAG ESG Label is granted to investment funds which meet the published eligibility criteria, irrespective of their domicile of registration. The eligibility criteria for the LuxFLAG ESG Label require applicant investment funds to screen 100% of its portfolio against one of the ESG strategy recognised by LuxFLAG. Additionally, the applicant investment fund must have an exclusion policy.
luxflag-environment
 
The Luxembourg Fund Labelling Agency (LuxFLAG) is an independent international labelling agency which aims to promote the raising of capital for Responsible Investment sectors by awarding a recognisable label to investment funds. Its objective is to reassure investors that the applicant investment fund invests, directly or indirectly, in the responsible investment sector. The primary objective of the LuxFLAG Environment Label is to reassure investors that the Investment Fund actually primarily invest their assets in environment-related sectors in a responsible manner. The eligibility criteria for the Environment Label require eligible funds to have a portfolio of investments in environment-related sectors corresponding to at least 75% of the fund’s total assets.
luxflag-microfinance
 
The Luxembourg Fund Labelling Agency (LuxFLAG) is an independent international labelling agency which aims to promote the raising of capital for Responsible Investment sectors by awarding a recognisable label to investment funds. Its objective is to reassure investors that the applicant investment fund invests, directly or indirectly, in the responsible investment sector. The primary objective of the LuxFLAG Microfinance Label is to reassure investors that the MIV actually invests, directly or indirectly, in the Microfinance sector. Investing indirectly means that the MIV can, rather than giving direct loans to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), invest into other MIVs themselves investing more than 50% in Microfinance.
esg-novethic-greenfund-label-2013
 
The Novethic Green Fund Label was introduced to provide investors with a benchmark by guaranteeing the environmental characteristics described by the fund management company. The Novethic Green Fund Label is awarded to funds favouring activities with an environmental benefit. The funds are required to disclose a list of those activities. They also have to regularly publish a report on the environmental characteristics of the companies in their portfolio and detailed and comprehensive information on the make-up of the portfolio.
esg-novethic-sri-label-2013
 
Launched by Novethic in 2009, the Novethic SRI Label is the first European label for SRI funds managed strictly on the basis of Environmental AND Social AND Governance (ESG) criteria. The purpose of the Novethic SRI Label is to provide individual investors with a framework for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) products offered by investment managers. As the Label is awarded by an independent body, Novethic’s SRI Research Centre, investors can be sure that the process offers the greatest possible transparency about SRI products in which they might invest.
oesterreichisches-umweltzeichen
 
Das Österreichische Umweltzeichen ist Garant für umweltfreundliche Produkte und Dienstleistungen. Das Umweltzeichen wird an Produkte, Tourismusbetriebe und Bildungseinrichtungen vergeben. Das Österreichische Umweltzeichen zertifiziert im Finanzbereich ethisch orientierte Projekte und Unternehmen, die Gewinne durch nachhaltige Investitionen erzielen. Wer Geld anlegen will, kann das mit dem Umweltzeichen auch nach ökologischen und ethisch-sozialen Gesichtspunkten machen.
Die Auswahlkriterien für Umweltzeichen-Fonds sind klar definiert und werden von fondsinternen Einrichtungen oder externen Organisationen überprüft.
responsible-investment-association-australasia
 
Display of the Symbol certifies that a Licensee has adopted educational and disclosure practices relevant to their Licence category. Applicants to licence the Symbol will be assessed pursuant to strict eligibility criteria by RIAA, with independent verification for the category of Fund Manager performed by global chartered accounting firm Grant Thornton. Designed to act as a navigational tool, the Symbol helps consumers identify products and services that take environmental, social, ethical or governance issues into account which have been certified by RIAA.

united-nations-principles-for-responsible
 
The United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative is an international network of investors working together to put the six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. Its goal is to understand the implications of sustainability for investors and support signatories to incorporate these issues into their investment decision making and ownership practices. By signing the UNPRI, investors and asst mangers commit themselves to observing ecological, social and corporate governance standards (ESG standards) in their investment processes.