ESG label - independent awards for sustainable investment solutions
Sustainable investments, so-called ESG investments, are becoming increasingly important. As the market for ESG funds is booming, it is difficult for investors to gain an overview and identify trustworthy investment products.
With their hallmarks of objective standards, credibility, and transparency, independent ESG labels provide clarity and, therefore, act as a compass for investors when they are choosing sustainable investment solutions.
For the second time, the Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG), a sustainable investment forum that operates in German-speaking countries, has awarded the FNG label to various mutual funds of MainFirst. Six funds meet the required FNG standards and scored additional points in the areas of institutional credibility, product standards, and selection and dialogue strategy. Five of the funds now received two stars for a particularly rigorous and comprehensive sustainability strategy and one recently launched fund received one star. As signatories of the Transparency Code, these funds are entitled to bear the European SRI Transparency Logo for sustainability funds.
Three MainFirst funds meet the high requirements of one of the leading independent labelling agencies in the Luxembourg investment industry, they have been awarded the "LuxFLAG ESG Label".
The quality standard for sustainable investments
The FNG label is the quality standard for sustainable investment funds in German-speaking countries. It was launched in 2015 after a three-year development process involving key stakeholders. The associated sustainability certification must be renewed annually.
The holistic methodology of the FNG label is based on a minimum standard. This includes transparency criteria and the consideration of labor & human rights, environmental protection and anti-corruption as summarized in the globally recognized UN Global Compact. In addition, all companies in the respective fund must be explicitly analyzed for sustainability criteria. Investments in nuclear power, coal mining, significant coal-based power generation, fracking, oil sands, weapons and armaments are taboo.
The FNG label goes far beyond a mere portfolio analysis and is holistic and meaningful. Elements such as reporting, the fund company as such, an external sustainability advisory board and issues of good corporate governance play an important role.
The auditor of the FNG label is the University of Hamburg and the Qualitätssicherungsgesellschaft Nachhaltiger Geldanlagen mbH (QNG) bears overall responsibility.
The FNG label
- Ensures holistic quality
- Ensures minimum standards
- Checks externally and independently
- Oriented in the search for credible sustainability investments
- Promotes the dissemination and further development of sound sustainable investment approaches
- Expands sales channels for fund providers
The advantages of the FNG label for investors
- Ensuring the sustainability of the investment
- Feel-good factor: Investment does not flow into excluded business areas and practices
- Experienced quality control of the investment, certified by an independent third party and additionally monitored externally
- Objective external assessment vs. own information of the fund provider
- Comparability & less information effort
The FNG-certified MainFirst Fund
Six MainFirst funds have been awarded the FNG label, the quality standard for sustainable investment funds in the German-speaking financial markets. They meet the required FNG standards and are awarded one or two stars for additional quality.
All of the award-winning funds scored additional points in the areas of institutional credibility, product standards and for the selection and dialogue strategy.
The following investment funds received the label with additional stars for a particularly rigorous and comprehensive sustainability strategy:
- MainFirst - Absolute Return Multi Asset
- MainFirst - Global Equities Fund
- MainFirst - Global Equities Unconstrained Fund
- MainFirst - Germany Fund
- MainFirst - Top European Ideas Fund
The FNG Sustainability Profile
The FNG Sustainability Profile provides an overview of the sustainability criteria used and other key data on the fund and serves as a guide for selecting sustainable retail funds. The FNG Sustainability Profile is based on the FNG-Matrix - a database for all information about sustainable mutual funds. The following MainFirst Fund FNG sustainability profiles (in German language) at a glance for you:
The European SRI Transparency logo signifies that the MainFirst Affiliated Fund Managers (Deutschland) GmbH commits to provide accurate, adequate and timely information to enable stakeholders, in particular consumers, to understand the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) policies and practices relating to the fund. Detailed information about the European SRI Transparency Guidelines can be found on www.eurosif.org, and information of the SRI policies and practices of the MainFirst Funds can be found at:
The Transparency Guidelines are managed by Eurosif, an independent organisation. The European SRI Transparency Logo reflects the fund manager’s commitment as detailed above and should not be taken as an endorsement of any particular company, organisation or individual.
The current European Transparency Code of the relevant fund can be found here.
The Luxembourg Finance Labelling Agency (LuxFLAG) is an independent and international labelling agency for sustainable investment funds. The agency was founded by the following seven private and public partners: the Luxembourg government, ALFI, ABBL, ADA, the European Investment Bank, Luxembourg for Finance and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Fund Labels are awarded for a period of 12 months and are due for renewal upon expiry.
The advantages of the LuxFLAG ESG Label for investors
With the "LuxFLAG ESG Label" quality seal, investors can rest assured that the investment product takes ESG criteria (environmental, social, and governance) into account throughout the entire investment process. The eligibility criteria for the ESG label require the applicant funds to review 100% of their invested portfolio using one of the ESG strategies and standards recognised by LuxFLAG. In addition, compliance with the ESG criteria is reviewed annually by a panel of experts and meets internationally recognised standards in the field of socially responsible investments.
The LuxFLAG ESG Label
Externally validated by independent experts - and internationally recognised - the "LuxFLAG ESG label" stands for the transparent implementation of ESG criteria. The following MainFirst funds were awarded the LuxFLAG label: