Starting point for ING's ESG policy is the survey, in which the participants are questioned about their view on the various ESG themes. The results of the questionnaire showed that the participants consider ESG themes as important, but the Fund does not need to be a frontrunner in this respect. The participants do believe that the Fund's ESG policy should at least comply with international standards, as issued by the United Nations and the OECD guidelines. The most important ESG themes that the participants mentioned, and that have been taken over by the Board of Trustees, are the following:
I. Human rights
III. Environment & Climate
IV. Public health
V. Labour rights
The above themes are linked to the "Global compact" principles of the United Nations, see table below.
PFI V priorities
I. Human Rights
1. Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and
2. make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.
3. Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
4. Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
5. undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility; and
6. encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.
Businesses should support a precautionary approach to the public health effects of their products.
7. Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
8. the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
9. the effective abolition of child labour; and
10. the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.
The above themes, the UNPRI principles and the minimum requirement to comply with current legislation and regulations are the basis on which the ESG instruments are based. The Fund's current ESG policy focuses on three instruments, namely.
· Voting policy
· Exclusion policy