Dáil Éireann - Volume 633 - 20 March, 2007
Written Answers. - Fiscal Policy.
Mr. Quinn Mr. Quinn
Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Finance the ethical investment guidelines being adopted in respect of investments and investment vehicles such as the National Pensions Reserve Fund under the remit of his Department; if such investments are in accordance with United Nations guidelines on ethical investments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10243/07]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Mr. Cowen: Under the National Pensions Reserve Fund Act 2000, the National Pensions Reserve Fund Commission controls and is responsible for the investment of the National Pensions Reserve Fund. The NPRF joined a group of the world’s largest institutional investment funds in signing the UN-sponsored Principles for Responsible Investment when they were launched in April 2006. The aim of the Principles is to integrate consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into investment decision-making and ownership practices and, thereby, to improve long-term returns for investors.
The Principles reflect the fiduciary duty of investors to their stakeholders as their first responsibility and deliberately do not call for screening or avoiding stocks. Instead, they promote a policy of engagement with companies where shareholders regard themselves as long-term owners of companies and raise concerns directly with company management.
The NPRF is taking specific measures to implement the Principles. Actions it is currently taking include the development and implementation of a comprehensive proxy voting policy and development of an engagement capacity with investee companies on ESG issues. The NPRF has decided to contract third-party service providers to deliver these services within NPRF policy guidelines. It expects that the proxy voting and engagement services will be put in place during the second quarter of this year.
Dáil Éireann 633 Written Answers. Fiscal Policy.