FairPensions is a groundbreaking charity that promotes Responsible Investment by pension funds and fund managers. Bringing together leading charities, trade unions, faith groups and individual investors, our aim is to catalyse a shift at at each level of the investment chain, so that Responsible Investment becomes the norm.
FairPensions was launched in 2005 and now has a strong track record of persuading major investors to increase shareholder activism on environmental, social and governance issues. Today, FairPensions is recognised in the UK as the leading NGO that monitors and engages with the investment industry.
Our mission recognises the simple but under-appreciated fact that the trillions of pounds invested in pensions have the power to change our world. The money people save every month for their retirement is the money that pension funds invest in corporations across the world. Those funds enable companies to go about their business – for better or worse.
We’re concerned with highlighting those business practices that are negligent or harmful to people or the environment, and catalysing action to change them. We’re not against business. But we do believe that a focus on profit must be balanced with social and environmental responsibility to achieve sustainable long-term returns, a healthy financial system and the well-being of our planet.
We employ a mix of strategies to make an impact including research to bring transparency to the investment practices of the largest fund managers and pension funds; single-issue campaigns which seek to change irresponsible practices by particular companies; building awareness within parliament and amongst regulators of the case for responsible investment; and raising awareness with the public about the power of our pension savings.
FairPensions believes strongly in connecting pension savers with the management of their money and in making the investment industry more transparent and accountable in its dealings with pension savers and retail clients. In today’s climate of financial instability, environmental concern and questioning of political ethics, our focus on the impact and transparency of decision-making could not be more timely.
In 2010 FairPensions was highly commended in the prestigious Charity Awards for its work to focus the attention of institutional investors on the environmental and financial risks of oil sands projects in Alberta, Canada.
We believe that:
- Pension funds should actively monitor and manage environmental, social and governance issues
- Pension funds should be accountable to their members, open to dialogue and willing to explain their actions to stakeholders
- Pension funds have a social responsibility that extends beyond their legal responsibilities to their members
- Pension fund members should constitute at least 50% of the board of their fund
- Civil society can be more active in bringing widely-held ethical and moral concerns to bear on the financial sector