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Portfolio21 aims to contribute to a sustainable development. The investors try and accomplish this by integrating non-financial criteria in the management of investment portfolios and by being transparent about this process.

Basic values

  • Sustainable development is a vast concept. It concerns economic, social, ecological and cultural progress, locally and globally, for current generations and for generations to come. Although discussion about priorities and directions abounds in any interpretation the quality of human life is central to the interpretation of the concept.
  • Portfolio21 wishes to contribute to the quality of human life by inserting additional criteria and features into the traditional processes of selecting and managing financial assets.

Focus on human rights

Portfolio21 focuses on labour standards and upon human rights in the workplace.

  • They are basic. Respecting basic rights of fellow human beings is a value in its own right.
  • They are concrete. One does not have to develop a philosophy or interpretation. Operational criteria for screening are in place: the basic ILOconventions.
  • They are widely recognized. Those conventions are widely recognised as fundamental and have gained large consensus. They are congruent with human rights declarations. States, organizations of employers and employees adhere to the ILO-conventions.
  • They are within the sphere of influence of corporations.
  • They are a key to a global approach. ILO core conventions offer leverage for improvement in different fields. Indeed, by respecting them educational, safety and environmental matters can be taken on.
  • They go with free markets. Non-compliance with ILO ’s core conventions is not only to the detriment of abused workers and affected children. Non-compliance is unfair to economic actors who do respect conventions. Non-compliance erodes the level playing field of the free market.
  • They are universal. The eight ILO core conventions apply to all countries and sectors worldwide.

Focus on environmental norms

The investors of Portfolio21 do not take a stance on competing technologies or on political decision making about the use of natural resources.
Indisputable though, norms breaching that causes severe and irreversible environmental damage is unacceptable for current and future generations.

The model

In its current stage, Portfolio21 is the result of a research effort by three parties: an insurance company, an asset manager and an independent screening agency. Each party contributed its specific skills and knowledge about sustainable management of financial portfolios. The model uses independent third party screening on concrete and specified issues.

It will be developed further under the impulse of the adherent investors and will rely upon the input of specialists in research and financial management.

Vigeo Belgium S.A. is responsible for the implementation of the screening, engagement and evaluation processes and their results.

The portfolio managers remain responsible for the investment decisions and the financial results of the adherent portfolios.

Most importantly, Portfolio21 is conceived as an open project in a twofold sense.
It is open to new adherents who whish to enhance their financial management and contribute to the further development of Portfolio21.
It is, after due research and consideration, open to change.
Thus, Portfolio21 is work in progress.