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U.K. Investment Association launches efforts to define ‘sustainability’

The U.K. Investment Association is seeking input from money managers on how to define sustainability and responsible investment to help shape its policy efforts.

The industry body that represents U.K. money managers overseeing more than £7 trillion ($9 trillion) in assets, in its first study on the topic, is asking managers to share their views on definitions for the different sustainable investment approaches, including environmental, social and governance factor integration, impact investing and negative screening. The aim is to create standard definitions that will be universally endorsed by the money management industry.

In addition, association members can comment on how they embed ESG considerations into their investment processes now.

Money managers increasingly are being asked by policymakers globally to articulate the non-financial outcomes or impacts of their investments against sustainability indicators or metrics on a wide range of investment strategies, according to the consultation document.

"Social and environmental change is happening faster than ever before. The asset management industry is at a critical juncture in embracing sustainability as a defining feature of the investment landscape," Chris Cummings, association CEO, said in a news release Friday.

"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," Mr. Cummings added.

The consultation will close March 1. IA members should contact the association for information on how to comment.