Responsability

"Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) aims to reconcile economic performance and social and environmental impact by financing companies and public entities that contribute to sustainable development, regardless of their sector of activity. By influencing corporate governance and behaviour, SRI promotes a responsible economy." 
Definition of SRI – French Investment Management Association (AFG

Understanding better means investing better for the long term

Before investing in a company – through equities or bonds – the portfolio manager undertakes a disciplined analysis of its economic and financial fundamentals, including its balance sheet, business model, sector outlook, etc. This enables the manager to put a financial estimate on its value and to see if the investment makes sense.
Such a step is essential but not sufficient.
SRI deepens the overall insight by analysing the company’s performances in three additional areas:

  • Environment: pollution and “green” products (eco-designed);
  • Social: human resources, employee health-care and safety, human rights;
  • Governance: balance of powers, business ethics.

A more comprehensive analysis of the company provides for more robust investments.
Contrary to popular thinking, there is no difference in financial performance between SRI and traditional investment!

An approach anchored in economic reality

Ecofi Investissements has long been involved in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI), in accordance with its values. Our first SRI fund, Epargne Ethique Actions, was set up in 2000, and we have been signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) since 2009.
The relevance of our approach gives us influence in all sectors of the economy in a progressive frame of reference grounded in economic reality. For example, we have carefully selected, in each sector, the companies that are furthest ahead in social, environmental and governance (ESG) responsibility and exclude or restrict exposure to those that are involved in major controversial activities.
We do not invest in companies that are involved in the manufacture of controversial weapons such as cluster bombs and anti-personnel mines.

Exclusion of tax havens

Ecofi Investissements excludes corporate issuers, whose registered office is domiciled in a tax haven*, from all direct investments in open-end funds as well as sovereign issuers of these tax havens.
In alignment with Crédit Coopératif’s policy, Ecofi Investissements relies on two standards for the definition of a tax haven:

  • List of Non-Cooperative States and Territories set by French decree (238-0 A of France’s General Tax Code)
  • Ranking by the NGO Tax for Justice Network for countries with a secrecy score above 70.

In all, this list comprises 53 countries.

Likewise, we exclude from all our investments companies involved in the production of controversial arms such as cluster bombs and anti-personnel mines.

To consult the list of countries, click on here

*with the exception of Singapore and Switzerland when companies have located their head office for historical or geographical reasons and not for tax purposes.

Voting and dialogue

We are convinced that shareholder voting at general meetings and dialogue with corporate management are essential towards encouraging companies to make progress in taking ESG challenges into account in their business operations.
Our votes are exercised as follows:     
• There is no minimum shareholding threshold;
• A socially responsible perspective is implemented by our ethical investment department on all our mutual funds;
• Support from us is recurring for the submission of external shareholder resolutions, for example:

  • separation of the roles of CEO and board chairman;
  • report on management of environmental risks.

For our dialogue policy, we engage each individual company by routinely questioning management whose SRI ratings have been downgraded by ratings agencies.

We also practice collective dialogue by taking part in coalitions of shareholders who bring companies to task on major ESG challenges (diversity and male/female equality, use of palm oil, and access to drugs in developing countries) and on controversies they are involved in (pollution, human rights, corruption, money laundering, etc.).

Read more (in French)

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