Triodos SICAV I applies some of the strictest sustainability criteria in the market. The fund believes that companies that successfully balance their impact on the environment, society and their business will deliver optimal long-term value to all stakeholders, including their shareholders. The views on sustainable corporate behaviour evolve over time with increasing knowledge and insight. The fund’s criteria therefore continuously evolve as well. Triodos SICAV I regularly updates its criteria to ensure that they reflect the latest views on sustainability that exist within Triodos Investment Management and in society. Triodos SICAV I therefore fully participates in the public debate about sustainability.
In 2017, the fund reconsidered its position on a number of minimum standards:
- Conflict minerals: healthcare equipment was added to the list of industries that are at a high risk for the use of conflict minerals. A feasibility study performed over the last year showed that more companies in this sector have implemented the expected and programmes (to ensure that no conflict minerals are used in their products) to make policies on the use of conflict minerals a requirement. Two companies that do not yet fully comply with the new requirements have been engaged with and will be followed closely.
- Remuneration: Triodos Research excludes companies that are involved in remuneration controversies that publicly raise significant ethical/moral concerns and that are in clear violation of local or international standards of best practice, while failing to take credible measures. A new step was added to the assessment process. A set of four indicators were defined to express a company’s performance and policies regarding (CEO) remuneration. These include the ratio between CEO remuneration and average employee remuneration, as well as the existence of a clawback provision. A factor in which the size of the company is reflected is used to determine controversial remuneration.
- Cotton: this is one of the world’s most important natural fibres and a renewable natural resource. However, cotton farming has serious environmental and social impacts. The number of initiatives to grow and use more sustainable cotton is increasing and more sustainable cotton is becoming available. As a result, a requirement was introduced for companies whose products contain cotton, to have a policy or target for the use of sustainable cotton.
- Petrol retailing: a threshold of 10% was set for the retail of petrol, which will exclude specialty retail companies, but not companies that sell petrol besides many other products and for which selling petrol is not a core activity, e.g. supermarkets.
A full overview of the fund’s sustainability criteria is available on www.triodos-im.com.