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Blog Posts — November 20, 2019

STOXX Tops Febelfin’s Sustainability Labels for Indices STOXX Tops Febelfin’s Sustainability Labels for Indices

Four STOXX indices have received a quality label for sustainability, the most of any index provider, in the first batch of endorsements by Belgium’s financial sector federation. 

Febelfin, as the business association is known, introduced the Quality Standard for sustainable and socially responsible financial products last February to support growth and transparency in responsible investing. The Standard acts as a verification that the investment product shuns unsustainable practices and that it follows a set of portfolio and process requirements that prove it is managed with sustainability in mind.1

A total of 320 products were endorsed in this first allocation. Nine of them are indices, including the following from STOXX: 

“We are delighted that STOXX indices have obtained this level of recognition for innovation and transparent methodologies in the field of sustainability,” said Willem Keogh, Head of ESG, Thematic and Factor Solutions at STOXX. “We’ve been at the forefront of taking environmental, social and governance criteria onboard as we seek to meet thriving demand from the whole spectrum of the investment community.”

This first awarding cycle will be completed with an additional set of labels next February, the granting agency has said. 

STOXX has advanced sustainable investing since 2001, innovating in ESG, low-carbon and climate-impact strategies with over 150 indices that incorporate best-in-class, exclusionary screens and other strategies in a dynamic manner. They have been adopted as underlying for structured products, exchange-traded funds, index funds and derivatives, as well as to benchmark mutual funds.

“Our open architecture has allowed us to partner up with the leading ESG data providers in a process that enhances the transparency and objectivity of our products,” said Keogh. “These characteristics are at the top of the agenda for regulators and labelling organizations.” 

Governments and investment associations in countries such as Belgium and France are leading the way in supporting and promoting financial products that have legitimate and verifiable sustainable credentials. This helps build confidence for investors who want to adopt responsible strategies that money invested in labelled products is securely aligned with their principles. 

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Febelfin, ‘A quality standard for sustainable and socially responsible financial products,’ February 2019.