Both VidaCaixa and CaixaBank Asset Management have been given a rating of A+ for their outstanding management regarding Strategy and Good Governance.
It is the highest rating possible under the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, only achieved by 25% of signatories to these principles worldwide.
The goal of this global commitment is to build more companies that are sustainable in the long term, whilst maintaining the profitability objective.
The United Nations have conferred the highest rating of sustainable investment (A+) on CaixaBank, through VidaCaixa and CaixaBank Asset Management. The institution has considered the degree of implementation of its Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), both by its insurer and pension fund manager and its asset manager, and has given them both a rating of A+ for their outstanding management regarding Strategy and Good Governance.
The goal of the PRIs is to build awareness around the impact that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have on investments, and to guide the signatories on how to integrate them into their investment structures. Essentially, it is about analysing potential investments with criteria that go beyond financial returns, and promoting these same matters in entities that receive the investment. The PRIs aim to develop an economically efficient and financially sustainable system on a global scale, which benefits the environment and society as a whole.
The Chairman of CaixaBank, Jordi Gual, has emphasised that “CaixaBank participates very actively in the international discussion to agree on common action principles, including the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, recently presented in New York and, of course, the principles for responsible investment". Gual added that “the application of environmental, social and governance criteria to the management of our business is key to achieving responsible banking, which helps the company to address the environmental and social challenges that we face”.
The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment represent the biggest global project to boost the responsible management of investments, and is an international benchmark in this field.
In this regard, CaixaBank's CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar, highlighted that "sustainable or responsible investment allows us to better manage overall risks and generate returns that are sustainable in the long term."
According to Gonzalo Gortázar, the highest rating in sustainable investment conferred by the United Nations “reasserts our commitment to a socially responsible banking model that not only achieves economic returns for our shareholders, but also fosters a coherent management approach regarding our corporate values and encourages the creation of value for the whole company”.
VidaCaixa has been committed to socially responsible investment for more than 15 years, and has been a signatory to the PRIs for a decade. 100% of its assets under management (around 90,000 million years), and therefore all of its products, are analysed under sustainability criteria. Throughout 2019, the main improvements implemented by the company have been the promotion of new political rights, joining the Climate Action 100+ collaborative initiative, and improved transparency through communication actions, which have allowed it to maintain the highest rating.
Furthermore, the average returns of CaixaBank pension plans, through VidaCaixa, have historically been able to surpass the average returns in Spain over 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. This demonstrates that good returns are compatible with the application of sustainability principles in investments, and provides long-term value both for the entity's customers and society in general.
Furthermore, for the first time, CaixaBank AM has achieved the maximum rating three years after signing the PRIs. Throughout this period, the management company has worked intensively to incorporate the sustainability criteria into its investment processes; it has extended political rights, implemented initiatives of internal management, human resources and volunteers, and has developed new communication channels for its stakeholders. Meanwhile, 90% of its assets (around 50,000 million euros) are managed under the sustainability criteria proposed by the United Nations.
The six PRIs
The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment were launched in 2006, just months after then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, brought together the world's largest institutional investors to establish investment criteria to encourage economic flows around the world to go into more sustainable and respectable activities. These are known as the six principles for responsible investment:
- Incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
- Be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
- Seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
- Promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
- Work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
- Report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
The PRIs have gone from 100 initial signatories to 2,500, which represent practically all of the main investment managers around the world. Only 25% of these achieved the maximum rating in their annual evaluation.