UK trade group launches ESG consultation

The Investment Association has become the latest trade group seeking to help investors navigate the growing market for ESG-aware products

The Investment Association has launched an industry-wide consultation on sustainability and responsible investment.

The UK trade body that represents asset managers is seeking views on key aspects of environmental, social and governance-based investment as it seeks to help savers and investors navigate the rapidly growing sector.

The consultation, which will close on March 1 2019, will cover three areas, including proposed definitions for the different sustainable investment approaches. The aim is to agree an industry-endorsed set of definitions around terms such as ESG integration, impact investing and negative screening.

In addition, it will seek a proposed voluntary UK product label to assist retail investors and advisers in identifying funds that have adopted a sustainable approach.

Finally, it will look at the reporting frameworks used by asset managers to disclose how they embed ESG considerations into their investment process and the impact that their investments have had on wider sustainability indicators.

“Social and environmental change is happening faster than ever before,” said Chris Cummings, chief executive officer of the trade group.

“The asset management industry is at a critical juncture in embracing sustainability as a defining feature of the investment landscape.

“With sustainability and responsible investment becoming an increasing priority for today’s investors, this consultation is an important step forward in gathering the views of the industry with the ultimate aim of bringing greater clarity to savers.”