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Title:The difference between a product with Ethibel label and other ethical financial products
Date of publishing:September 20, 2011
Category:Other content
Also available in the following languages:Dutch, French

The difference between a product with Ethibel label and other ethical financial products

‘Ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ are not protected terms. This means that every financial institution is free to call an investment product ethical/sustainable and to interpret these terms at their own discretion. In some cases it is about certain industries being excluded (like the weapon industry). Or, the fund may only invest in a certain industry (such as renewable energy). In other funds demands may be placed with regard to one or more domains of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In other words, you should always ask the financial institution clearly on the basis of which criteria a product is called ethical or sustainable.

But even if you know which criteria are used, you do not have a guarantee yet that the claims made by the financial institution are true. At what point is a company considered to be involved in the trading of arms, for example? If it trades in arms, or if it supplies parts to weapon factories, if it supplies general supporting services to arms producers, ...?

In case of the Ethibel label funds, the investor knows exactly what he is up for: investments are only made in companies which score strongly in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) with regard to all aspects. This guarantee is based on:

  • The strictest selection criteria a company must meet to be eligible for inclusion in the Investment Register
  • The independent assessment which verifies whether a company meets the selection criteria
  • The external supervision of this assessment and the advice of experts for the selection
  • The strict contractual agreement with the financial institution which wants to issue a fund with Ethibel label
  • The general accessibility of the Investment Register, which contains all companies which are eligible for a fund with Ethibel label.

The interpretation of all these guarantees is available on this website.


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