EUROSIF Guidelines and Calvert Ratings: & EAI

Participant
Published
  • 2006/04/19
Time period
  • January 2005  –  April 2006
Links
Description
  • Question - What actions has your company taken to communicate with stakeholders on its progress in implementing the Global Compact inside its business?

    Calvert firmly believes that the responsibility of socially responsible investing must be firmly rooted in accountability and transparency. In that regard, Calvert highlights two significant actions taken during the past year to implement the Global Compact inside its business.

    1. Implementation of EUROSIF Guidelines and Calvert Ratings: As a socially responsible investment firm, Calvert analyses corporate social responsibility of other companies and pushes for greater corporate transparency and disclosure. This time, once again, we turned the mirror on ourselves. We became the first U.S. SRI member of the European Social Investment Forum (EUROSIF), a non-profit stakeholder network that encourages and develops sustainable and responsible investment and better corporate governance. EUROSIF’s Transparency Guidelines for Retail SRI Funds focus on increasing accountability to consumers. As signatories to these Guidelines, Calvert is committed to be open and honest about the transparency of our research and assessment process on our SRI policies and practices. Consonant with our entry into EUROSIF and publication of research methods in accord with the EUROSIF transparency guidelines, Calvert launched a comprehensive rating system based on corporate performance across a range of social, environmental, and governance indicators called the Calvert Ratings. The Ratings provide investors with a tool for evaluating corporate performance by providing an assessment on a scale of one to five, with five representing top performance and one representing poorest performance. Calvert used both quantitative and qualitative information compiled from public sources. The significance to Global Compact is our commitment to providing complete transparency on how we assess corporate performance. As a result, this also encourages companies to improve their performance, and raises awareness about the connections between social and environmental management, corporate governance, and financial performance. Calvert uses its website and press releases to communicate progress. Calvert also contacts companies by mail notifying them of their rating.

    2. Enhanced Analytics Initiative (EAI) – Calvert has long understood the importance of environmental, social, and governance factors in asset management. We know, as many other long-term investors do, that well-governed companies are good environmental stewards, treat their workers well and create and maintain respectful relationships with the communities in which they operate. Calvert became an associate member and one of the first North American institutions to join Enhanced Analytics Initiative (EAI), a project sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiatives. EAI was established by a group of asset owners and managers committed to promoting better sell-side research on extra-financial issues. By becoming a member of this initiative, Calvert is helping the financial community to move toward greater support of the principles of the Global Compact, and a more affirmative recognition of the need for financial services and asset management to take a stronger, more proactive role in supporting sustainability. We look forward to helping further an environment whereby investment fully integrates these important components of long term financial strength. Calvert has issued a press release and communicates its progress on its website.

    Question: What was the outcome/result of efforts to communicate progress? What response have you received from your efforts to communicate progress? What are your plans for future communications on progress to stakeholders?

    1. The outcome on the Calvert Ratings has been very positive. Calvert received various communications from companies, media, and others on the transparency of our analysis. We believe that this raises awareness about the connections between social and environmental performance and its connection to economic and financial performance in the long run. Calvert hopes the Ratings will foster dialog and increase awareness of social issues among financial professionals and their clients, as well as institutional investors. We provide enough detail and insight to let our investors see the types of things we are looking for in the companies we evaluate. The Calvert Ratings are a reflection of our continuing commitment to the UN Global Compact principles, our belief that disclosure and transparency are integral to that commitment, our determination to constantly improve our own performance, and our hope that we can make a difference.

    2. Our involvement in the EAI has been very recent. Calvert is very pleased to have joined this initiative. We have received favourable press coverage as managers who recognize the implications of extra financial and intangible issues to ensure that they are taken into account into mainstream decision making. US investors like Calvert are particularly welcomed as the US market is so important in the global context. Further details of the EAI are available at www.enhanced-analytics.com

Principles covered
  • Principle 1 - Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights
  • Principle 2 - Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses
  • Principle 3 - Businesses should uphold freedom of association & effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
  • Principle 6 - Eliminate discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
  • Principle 7 - Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
  • Principle 8 - Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Principle 10 - Businesses should work against all forms of corruption, including extortion and bribery
Languages
  • English