United Nations Environment Program, Nairobi, today announced it would create a global set of socially responsible investment guidelines by September 2005. The $26.4 billion United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, New York, will follow the guidelines, dubbed the Responsible Investment Initiative, said Klaus Topfer, UNEP executive director, at a London news conference today. "The investment community - public and private - is the main partner in achieving sustainable development," Mr. Topfer said.
A roundtable discussion in Paris last month with 40 investors and fund managers proposed a global alliance for guidance on responsible investments. Citigroup Asset Management is among U.S. firms that already have joined a North American task force on the initiative and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers is poised to join the group, said Jacob Malthouse, project manager within the asset management working group at the UNEP Finance Initiative, Geneva. The next roundtable will take place in New York in November.
The guidelines are based on the Paris roundtable and the results of a 14-month UNEP study of socially responsible investment.