In 2015, the FNG – the German Sustainable Investment Forum - launched the first SRI label in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Novethic is the strategic partner in this certification initiative. Its Research Centre has helped build the methodology and is in charge of the analysis of applications.
For the third time, asset managers have the opportunity to apply for the FNG label. Applications can be submitted in French, English or German and will be accepted through July 17th 2017. Final results will be released end of November 2017. The certification scheme is open to all sustainable mutual funds that comply with the European UCITS directive (or equivalent) and that are distributed at least either in Germany, Austria, Switzerland or Liechtenstein.
Candidates may benefit in several forms from a succesful application. They have the right to use the FNG label in their promotion and communication activities and are listed on various fund platforms. The exhaustive methodology (see below) allows them to challenge their whole Responsible Investment research and investment process with the latest trends and best practices on the market. Furthermore, candidates have a voice in this process: preliminary results are presented prior to the labelling decision. This allows candidates to explain their point of view and get valuable inisghts in which areas they can improve in the years to come.
In order to obtain the label, funds have to show specific minimum requirements concerning:
Furthermore, the methodology consists of a grading model. A fund may receive up to three stars if it shows strong performance in the sections “Institutional Credibility”, “Products standards” and “Impact”. The latter assesses the impact via the fund’s investment process as well as shareholder dialogue and engagement activities towards its holdings. Furthermore, disclosure of ESG performance is positively assessed.