|Author (Person)||Chapman, Peter|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.42, 15.11.01, p24|
The European Union should give corporate reporting rules a boost by giving investors and fund managers a yardstick to compare companies' records on environment, ethics and development, a leading investment manager said this week. Rob Lake, head of strategy for socially responsible investment at London-based fund manager Henderson Global Investors, said the lack of standardised reporting rules made it difficult to compare like with like in the EU's 15-country bloc. "We want to get some standardisation of information so that we can make judgements," said Lake whose company has €1.79 billion invested in special 'socially responsible' funds.
A single set of standards would also help companies give clear and unambiguous information to clients across Europe, he said. The UK has already jump-started the process, calling for company reporting on sustainability indicators as part of a broader reform of company law. The European Commission - which counts sustainability as one of its top political priorities - has announced a similar review of EU-wide company law as part of the bid to resurrect proposals for a law on company take-overs. EU member states have already approved plans for firms to use international accounting norms in a bid to remove barriers to the single market caused by different systems. Lake's comments came as US household goods giant Procter and Gamble unveiled its third sustainability report at a Brussels conference of investors and credit ratings agencies.
P & G corporate sustainable development director Peter White said companies could combine sustainability policies with good business sense - and improve the quality of life for the world's poorest people at the same time. "This is enlightened self interest not charity. Charity is fine, but it is not sustainable because it is not going to carry on in the longer term. If you have made money on it then you might do it again, if not you may not," said White, adding that energy efficiency efforts had saved the firm €564 million in a decade.
The European Union should give corporate reporting rules a boost by giving investors and fund managers a yardstick to compare companies' records on environment, ethics and management, according to a leading investment manager.
|Subject Categories||Environment, Values and Beliefs|