In June 2018, United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and The Generation Foundation in collaboration with SIF Ireland, Ireland’s Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum, released the Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century Ireland Roadmap.
The report provides clear recommendations on policy and market changes required to achieve full ESG integration into core areas of investment practices. Ireland is the 10th country in the world to produce this roadmap report, which is a significant milestone for a country of its size.
Irish legislation and common law interpretations of fiduciary duty currently make no reference to ESG issues or to responsible investment. However, Ireland is required to implement a new EU Directive by January 2019, which requires pension funds to publish their position on ESG issues in their statements of investment policy principles (SIPPs). Last month, the European Commission also published its first legislative package under its Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth, outlining how institutional investors, asset managers and advisors should integrate ESG factors into the investment decision-making process, as part of the duty to act in the best interests of clients.
The report makes recommendations in four areas – regulation, capacity building, stewardship and intermediation, and corporate reporting. It includes actions for various Irish stakeholders such as; the Central Bank, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, the Department of Finance, and the Pensions Authority, and how they can begin to incorporate ESG practices into investment planning and decision making.
The PRI, UNEP FI, The Generation Foundation, and SIF Ireland will continue to work closely together to advance responsible investment practice in Ireland.
Download the Ireland Roadmap here.
Learn more about Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century here.