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Japanese trade unions recommend ESG integration for pension funds TBLI optimistic on outcome fifth Asia conference
RENGO, the Japanese trades union confederation announced plans, during last weeks TBLI CONFERENCE™ ASIA 2010, to integrate ESG- factors into its investment decisions. These pension funds represent a significant part of the country’s institutional retirement savings, which as a whole is more than JPY 50 trillion (€450 bn). This move is especially important because of the close relations between RENGO and the new government of Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.
For the fifth time TBLI CONFERENCE™ organized the largest annual global networking and learning event on Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) on May 27th and 28th 2010, this year in Tokyo, Japan.
TBLI founder and CEO Robert Rubinstein on this development: “Sustainable Development has been slow in uptake to date in Japan. This step forward is a gigantic impulse for impact investment.” At this two-day conference RENGO stated ESG is the way to regain trust within the financial sector. By the end of the year a report will examine how pension funds could steer away from short-term returns in favour of ESG-related, long-term investments.
TBLI GROUP™ specializes in Triple Bottom Line Investing (TBLI) and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, TBLI GROUP™ seeks to raise awareness of sustainable investment in the financial sector by assisting investors and providing a global network for parties who share this goal. TBLI CONFERENCE™ has an annual edition in both Asia and Europe. More than 375 participants, all leaders from industry, finance and government, visited TBLI CONFERENCE™ ASIA 2010 May 27-28, 2010.
As the TBLI CONFERENCE™ ASIA 2010 draws ever more closer and we begin packing our things for Tokyo, I wanted to mention another of our keynote speakers this year: A. Karim Ahmed Ph.D. Dr. Ahmed is Secretary-Treasurer and Director of the International Program at the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) in Washington, DC. The title of his speech: The Role of Financial Institutions in Framing the Future Direction of the New Green Economy
To give you a sample of what we can look forward to having Dr. Ahmed as one of our esteemed keynote speakers, here is a clip from a 2008 interview recorded in Ljubljana, Slovenia on the topic of Climate Change on a Global Scale.
Amazing how the smartest people in the world can remember everything they are doing, clients, deals, income commissions, successes, most of the time. Why is is that when they get into trouble they all get alzheimer and can’t remember a thing? It would save everyone alot of time if their lawyers who advised them for legal purposes to claim ignorance, would testify instead.
I found the most disturbing part was listening to all the senior executives saying they were “market makers” and there is nothing wrong with their behavior. When Carl Levin asked “don’t you see a problem selling a shitty product and claiming it is fine and then shorting the investment”, and watching the reaction it was unreal to watch.
I kept thinking about that and realized that is the problem. Making junk, selling it as quality and hoping and betting it will fail doesn’t seem to be a problem for Goldman. That is the issue, nothing else.