Towards Sustainability announces 13 labelled products

18-04-2024

Summary

• 13 investment, savings and insurance products from 7 managers have been awarded the Towards Sustainability label for the first time at the end of March 2024.

• 6 additional products will receive the label at a later stage, when they are launched or when their updated investment policies are published.

• End of March 2024, the total number of labelled products amounted to 802.

• More than 520 billion euros are currently managed in line with the criteria of the Towards Sustainability Quality Standard, of which an estimated 25% is distributed in Belgium.

At the end of March, the Towards Sustainability label was awarded to 13 products managed by Alter Equity, Amundi, Janus Henderson, KBC, Van Lanschot Kempen, Liontrust and Lombard Odier. In addition, 6 products will obtain the label in the coming months once their respective conditions have been fulfilled. In most cases, the conditions pertain to the actual launch of the product or the public availability of updated investment policies. Currently, more than 520 billion euros are managed in line with the criteria of the Towards Sustainability Quality Standard.

Revised criteria as of 2024

The year 2023 marked the second revision of the Quality Standard. The criteria are regularly reviewed and tightened to keep in tune with evolving societal needs, investor expectations, scientific insights, data availability and regulatory framework. Under the new guidelines, investee companies involved in the exploitation or development of new oil or gas fields are excluded among others. Towards Sustainability was the first broad ESG-label to set such a stringent requirement, prompting others to follow suit. Other notable changes pertain to the integration of GHG-intensity and board gender diversity performance at portfolio-level, corporate engagement and voting, and the impact of ESG-strategies.

All products that previously received the label under the older criteria needed to reapply and demonstrate compliance with the new criteria. Managers of 85% of labelled products have reapplied, thus confirming their continuing support for the Towards Sustainability label. Updated labels will be awarded in June 2024.

As of 2024, the revision process will evolve to a more targeted approach focussing on specific sustainability issues. The new approach will be based on multistakeholder consultations and workshops. The first workshop will cover biodiversity and will take place on 28 June 2024 in Brussels.

Transparency and clarity for the investor

The Towards Sustainability label focuses on transparency and the provision of relevant and helpful information. A user-friendly online search tool provides a clear and comprehensive sustainability ID for each labelled product, to help investors find a product that is in line with their personal sustainability preferences and convictions.

Independent supervision and verification

The Towards Sustainability label contributes to the fight against greenwashing by establishing a minimal but ambitious level of sustainability. Its strong independent control mechanisms protect the integrity of the label. The CLA has appointed an independent Verifier to assess through analysis of investment policies, on-site audits, and ongoing portfolio monitoring, whether all products meet the conditions of the Towards Sustainability Quality Standard. Currently, the Verifier is a consortium consisting of Forum Ethibel, ICHEC Brussels and the University of Antwerp.