The U.K. government and national standards body have issued the first set of standards for responsible and sustainable investment management, building on the country's green finance strategy.
The standards outline the policies and processes needed to create and embed a responsible approach to money management, the British Standards Institution said in a news release. The standards were published in collaboration with the U.K. Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the financial services industry. The launch comes as the U.K. prepares to take on the Group of Seven presidency and to host the U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, next year.
The standards focus on five key principles of sustainable investment: governance and culture; strategy alignment; investment processes; investor rights and responsibilities; and transparency. Focusing on the practical implementation of policies, the standards set out how money managers can embed their responsible or sustainable investment approach into the investment process and how to report on processes and outcomes.
"The financial system is playing a crucial role in helping to rebuild a more sustainable future through responsible economic growth," Scott Steedman, director of standards at the BSI, said in the news release. "This is the first consensus for delivering responsible investment management at the corporate level."
Kwasi Kwarteng, minister of state for business, energy and clean growth, added in the release: "Transforming our financial system for a greener future is crucial as we build back better from COVID-19 and to meet our legally binding target for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050."
The standards build on the U.K.'s green finance strategy, an initiative launched in July 2019 that supports the U.K.'s economic policy for strong, sustainable and balanced growth and efforts to meet commitments on climate change, the environment and sustainable development.
The standards are available for download on the BSI website.