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United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund

PRI reporting framework 2020

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ESG incorporation in actively managed listed equities

Implementation processes

LEI 01. Percentage of each incorporation strategy

01.1. Indicate which ESG incorporation strategy and/or combination of strategies you apply to your actively managed listed equities; and the breakdown of your actively managed listed equities by strategy or combination of strategies.

ESG incorporation strategy (select all that apply)

Percentage of active listed equity to which the strategy is applied — you may estimate +/- 5%
95 %
Percentage of active listed equity to which the strategy is applied — you may estimate +/- 5%
2.0 %
Percentage of active listed equity to which the strategy is applied — you may estimate +/- 5%
3.0 %
Total actively managed listed equities 100%

01.2. Describe your organisation’s approach to ESG incorporation and the reasons for choosing the particular strategy/strategies.

Our journey on the path of Sustainable Investing

We began our journey towards Sustainable Investing by restricting investments in tobacco and armaments decades ago, reflecting the values of the United Nations. OIM became a signatory to the PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) in 2006. This was followed by investing in the first Green bonds in 2008 issued by the World Bank, and being the catalyst investor in Low Carbon Exchange Traded Funds in 2014. In recent years, OIM has been transitioning from a program of ESG related activities to embarking on a process of integrating ESG considerations across all asset classes. OIM believes that portfolios which integrate material ESG metrics into their investment decision-making process, supported by active engagement, have the potential to provide returns that are superior to those of conventional portfolios while exhibiting lower risk over the long term. This view is supported by several published academic studies and our own research. We see evidence that ESG considerations are beginning to enter the mainstream investment world. Rating agencies are implementing ESG factors that could impact the credit rating of corporate issuers. Fitch stated recently that ESG Relevance Scores reveal that ESG factors influence 22% of its current non-financial corporate issuers. ISS reports an increasing number of ESG related items on the proxy voting agendas of corporates.

The objective of our Sustainable Investing approach is to integrate ESG considerations in our investment decision-making process across all asset classes

OIM began introducing ESG metrics into the existing investment process, by giving portfolio managers a broader set of tools to consider in their investment decisions. For internal actively managed public equity portfolios, we are piloting a four-stage process, tailored around PRI’s recommendations. In 2018, OIM implemented a new custom global equity index which can serve as a benchmark for other global equity investors. This index takes into account investment restrictions on companies which exceed a defined threshold of revenue generated from Tobacco or Weapons. Within Fixed Income, we have been increasing our portfolio of Green bonds in line with net outstanding issuance in this market segment. For private markets, OIM integrates a comprehensive analysis of ESG issues into the due diligence process. 

  1. ESG Index and Universe Screening: Reputational risk management and controversies screening individual companies radar
  2. Portfolio Analytics: Carbon foot printing, customized controversies screening, dead asset analysis and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) impact analysis
  3. Robust ESG Metrics Database: Sourcing and consolidating material ESG data points to enhance fundamental and valuation analysis, both ex-post and ex-ante
  4. Company Analysis: Qualitative and quantitative peer analysis on company and prospective holdings integrated into investment rationale and company risk due diligence
  5. Corporate Engagement: ESG material summary conclusions validating quantitative and  qualitative empirical conclusions from corporate one-on-one engagements reconciled to proxy voting action and corporate strategy. OIM has entered into strategic partnerships with two well-known global engagement providers.


Technology and the availability of alternative data sets enables greater integration of ESG considerations in investment decisions

Integration of ESG considerations requires new tools and alternative datasets that are not conventionally used for supporting investment decision-making. OIM, leveraging its partnerships with key data providers, has constructed an internal proprietary ESG database, which helps to distill material ESG data by separating the noise from the signal and provide the investment teams with more robust screening capabilities. Using the signals obtained from various alternative datasets such as RepRisk, MSCI ESG, etc , the Portfolio Managers get a better sense of the tail-risk of their portfolio holdings and potential opportunities in the market.

We believe that combining both financial and alternative metrics would increase the odds of improving the risk-return profile of our portfolio over the long run, compared to the conventional investment approach.

Our Sustainable Investing approach is beginning to incorporate forward looking methodologies in evaluating the impact of climate change on our investment portfolio

Investors need new tools that integrate energy economics, alternative climate scenarios, and traditional financial data to evaluate return and risk exposures related to climate change and new sources of energy. These tools could help investors evaluate the climate change transition risk as well as achieve greater climate sustainability in their investment portfolios. OIM recently signed a strategic partnership with a leading provider of predictive climate analytics. Our efforts to signal our commitment to a low carbon strategy through passive investment in low carbon Exchange Traded Funds in 2014 was just the first step in addressing the impact of climate change. With this partnership, we are now planning to move to an active strategy by using a highly sophisticated climate and energy simulation model to assess companies’ ability to adapt to various carbon emission scenarios. We have already integrated the “E” score provided by an external predictive climate analytics provider as an input factor in our proprietary ESG investment-decision supporting tool. This "E" score helps to quantify the portfolio's climate transition risk.

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's)

OIM is conducting research with leading ESG academics on developing quantifiable SDG scores by utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to leverage big data and systematically measure companies’ impact on the SDGs. This research will aim to provide empirical evidence hopefully addressing the widespread perception that there is a trade-off between financial returns and incorporating ESG or SDG considerations in investment decisions. It will strengthen our understanding of the interdependencies between a firm’s long-term economic value and its societal impact. OIM has compiled a detailed white paper on this topic and will publish it shortly. This paper will serve as a catalyst for a broader discussion among long-term institutional investors.

Engagement through encouragement

The last pillar of our Sustainable Investing approach is engagement. An active sustainable voting policy combined with engagement can result in more effective and durable change consistent with the UN’s values. OIM believes in a collaborative and constructive dialogue with company management to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. The Fund is a signatory of the Climate Action 100+ initiative, has a strategic partnership with a leading engagment provider, and plans to strengthen its engagement efforts further.

 

01.3. If assets are managed using a combination of ESG incorporation strategies, briefly describe how these combinations are used. [Optional]

 A key part of our approach to sustainable investing is the belief that portfolios which integrate material ESG metrics in their investment rationale have the potential to provide returns that are superior to those of conventional portfolios, while exhibiting lower risk over the long term. This view is supported by academic research and literature. Technology and nonfinancial data enables systematic ESG integration and drives transparency. ESG integration requires new tools and alternative innovative datasets that are not conventionally used for supporting investment decision-making. OIM, leveraging its partnerships with key data providers, has constructed an internal proprietary ESG database, which helps it to distill material ESG data by separating the noise from the signal and provide the investment teams with more robust screening capabilities. Using the signals obtained from various alternative datasets such as RepRisk, MSCI ESG, etc, the Portfolio Managers get a better sense of the tail-risk of their portfolio holdings and potential opportunities in the market.

ESG strategies are incorporated at various levels:

  1. Policy Level: IPS ESG Policy Statement 
  2. Fund Level: ESG Leadership Funds / Passive ESG Approach 
  3. Portfolio Level: ESG / Carbon Footprint Measurment & Mitigation / Screening / Tail-risk analysis
  4. Company Level: ESG Factor Analysis & Measurement 
     

LEI 02. Type of ESG information used in investment decision (Private)


LEI 03. Information from engagement and/or voting used in investment decision-making (Private)


(A) Implementation: Screening

LEI 04. Types of screening applied

04.1. Indicate and describe the type of screening you apply to your internally managed active listed equities.

Type of screening

Screened by

Description

Tobacco, thermal coal, and armament restrictions. 

OIM has developed a Thermal Coal Divestment Strategy that will be implemented this year and will stay in effect going forward. As per the strategy, the fund will not be investing in companies deriving more than 10% of their revenues from the mining of thermal coal.

 

Screened by

Description

OIM has developed an internal methodology to enable both positive as well as negative screenings of securities. We have developed dashboards for all the equity teams on which the teams can monitor various ESG as well as fundamental metrics together corresponding to each of the securities in their relevant benchmarks/ portfolios. These dashboards allow the teams to screen securities based on both ESG and fundamental factors. The ESG metrics being provided are sourced from the best in class ESG data providers such as MSCI ESG, RepRisk, Bloomberg, SASB, Entelligent, Arabesque, ISS Proxy Voting.

OIM is not only holistically integrating ESG analysis into current process, but has also applied complete system metrics to the past eights years on the active equity portfolio thereby constructing a history from which the Fund can measure its progress retroactively against itself and peers.

Screened by

Description

OIM examines social, environmental, governance, and ethical issues on a case-by-case basis, taking special regard for the effects proposed actions will have on the corporation’s long-term value, costs and the financial well being of beneficiaries.  Risks to the company’s short-and/or long-term value arising from social, environmental, governance and/or ethical issues should be identified and assessed and companies should institute policies and procedures aimed at mitigating the risks associated with these issues.

04.2. Describe how you notify clients and/or beneficiaries when changes are made to your screening criteria.

The screening criteria is ultimately decided upon by the Representative of the Secretary-General for the Investments of the UNJSPF in consultation with the Fund's Investments Committee and Office of Investment Management staff.


LEI 05. Processes to ensure screening is based on robust analysis

05.1. Indicate which processes your organisation uses to ensure ESG screening is based on robust analysis.

05.2. Indicate the proportion of your actively managed listed equity portfolio that is subject to comprehensive ESG research as part your ESG screening strategy.

05.3. Indicate how frequently third party ESG ratings are updated for screening purposes.

05.4. Indicate how frequently you review internal research that builds your ESG screens.

05.5. Additional information. [Optional]

The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund holistically integrates ESG into the entire lifecycle of the internal equity investment process. Honoring the Fund’s commitment to PRI, UNEP FI, and UNGC, as outlined in the IPS, the OIM considers ESG as standard due diligence risk exercise within the overall investment process, including risk monitoring, universe selection and stock selection.


LEI 06. Processes to ensure fund criteria are not breached (Private)


(B) Implementation: Thematic

LEI 07. Types of sustainability thematic funds/mandates

07.1. Indicate the type of sustainability thematic funds or mandates your organisation manages.

07.2. Describe your organisation’s processes relating to sustainability themed funds. [Optional]

Tobacco Security Restrictions:

Investments in companies that derive any revenue from the production of tobacco and that primarily deal with manufacturing and distribution of tobacco and tobacco related products are prohibited.

Armaments or other Military Equipments Security Restrictions:

The Fund does not invest in securities of companies that derive any revenue from the production of military weapons, weapons systems or weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, or derive more than 10 per cent of their revenue from the production of customized components for purposes of the production of military weapons, weapons systems or weapons of mass destruction.

Thermal Coal Security Restrictions:

The Fund has developed a Thermal Coal Divestment Strategy that will be implemented this year and will stay in effect going forward. As per the strategy, the fund will not be investing in companies deriving more than 10% of their revenues from the mining of thermal coal.

https://oim.unjspf.org/report/unjspf-press-release-united-nations-joint-staff-pension-fund-announces-divestment-from-coal-energy-sector/

ESG Integration:

The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund holistically integrates ESG into the entire lifecycle of the internal equity investment process. Honoring the Fund’s commitment to PRI, UNEP FI, and UNGC, as outlined in the IPS, the UNJSPF considers ESG as standard due diligence risk exercise within the overall investment process, including risk monitoring, universe selection, and stock selection.


(C) Implementation: Integration of ESG factors

LEI 08. Review ESG issues while researching companies/sectors

08.1. Indicate the proportion of actively managed listed equity portfolios where E, S and G factors are systematically researched as part of your investment analysis.

ESG issues

Proportion impacted by analysis
Environmental

Environmental

Social

Social

Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

08.2. Additional information. [Optional]

Our approach to Sustainable Investing is entirely consistent with our fiduciary responsibility to meet our Long-Term Return Objective

Possible actions taken include asking the entities in which the Fund invests:  

1) Standardised reporting on ESG issues (using tools such as the Global Reporting Initiative)

2) Integration of ESG issues within their annual financial reports

3) Information regarding adoption of/adherence to relevant norms, standards, codes of conduct or international initiatives (such as the UN Global Compact)

4) Support shareholder initiatives and resolutions promoting ESG disclosure

​The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund holistically integrates ESG into the entire lifecycle of the internal equity investment process. Honoring the Fund’s commitment to PRI, UNEP FI, and UNGC, as outlined in the IPS, the UNJSPF considers ESG as standard due diligence risk exercise within the overall investment process, including risk monitoring, universe selection, and stock selection.


LEI 09. Processes to ensure integration is based on robust analysis

09.1. Indicate which processes your organisation uses to ensure ESG integration is based on robust analysis.

          Perform detailed ESG factors based portfolio tail-risk analysis as well as find potential opportunities emerging from the improvements in companies' ESG metrics.
        

09.2. Indicate the proportion of your actively managed listed equity portfolio that is subject to comprehensive ESG research as part your integration strategy.

09.3. Indicate how frequently third party ESG ratings that inform your ESG integration strategy are updated.

09.4. Indicate how frequently you review internal research that builds your ESG integration strategy.

09.5. Describe how ESG information is held and used by your portfolio managers.

09.6. Additional information. [Optional]

The United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund holistically integrates ESG into the entire lifecycle of the internal equity investment process. Honoring the Fund’s commitment to PRI, UNEP FI, and UNGC, as outlined in the IPS, the UNJSPF considers ESG as standard due diligence risk exercise within the overall investment process, including risk monitoring, universe selection, and stock selection.


LEI 10. Aspects of analysis ESG information is integrated into (Private)


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