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Title:Newsletter December 2015
Date of publishing:December 22, 2015

Newsletter December 2015
December 22, 2015


Read the latest news related to our SRI linked publications, the Forum Ethibel Certifications, our Ethibel products and services and miscellanea. Visit our website's news section for Dutch and French versions of most items. 

Press and Publications

Sustainable investing at record level

The Belgian market for sustainable saving and investing has never been this large, reveals the new Forum ETHIBEL report commissioned by MIRA (Environmental reporting Flanders, Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij). 

In 2014, sustainably invested assets increased with almost 4 billion euros, while the offer of sustainable products has lowered. A very positive result for the sector, after having dealt with two lean years in 2012 and 2013. The capital in sustainable assets has now grown with as much as 48,8%, up to an impressive 11,4 billion euros which is an absolute record level. 
Likewise, sustainable saving is improving, with a total capital of 3.7 billion euros. This also comes down to a historical record, albeit a less spectacular one, with an organic growth of 21,2% compared to 2013.  Read more
Transparency report on lobbying  
In its 20th Sustainability Focus, Vigeo analyses the progress made by companies between 2013 and 2015 with regard to the transparency and integrity of their lobbying activities. There has been an increase in attention for lobbying practices over the last years as well as increased pressure from stakeholders, and most notably from shareholders. Read more
CSR and economic performance 

The French trade-union CFE-CGC (Confédération française de l'encadrement - Confédération générale des cadre) recently published the report ‘The social responsibility and the performance of companies’ carried out with the support of the extra-financial research provided by Vigeo rating agency. The report focuses on the relation between companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and their economic and financial performance. Read more


SOLID'R: ethical recovery of goods and textiles
Forum ETHIBEL has performed 2014's independent audit for the label SOLID'R. This is an ethical label for social-economy enterprises that are active in the field of recycling, collecting and sales of used textile and goods. This year, the label has again expanded. Newcomers Le Goéland and Apides have committed to the SOLID'R principles as well, bringing the number of companies under the label to fourteen. Read more

 Ethibel Products and Services

Last changes in the Investment Register

Since the publication of our last newsletter, two Register Committee meetings have taken place, during which the following sectors have been analysed.

  • Europe: Financial Services & Real Estate, Healthcare Equipment & Services, Publishing, Waste and Water Utilities, Chemicals, Transport & Logistics, Specialised Retail, Specific Purpose Banks & Agencies
  • Asia Pacific: Electric & Gas Utilities, Insurance, Beverage, Financial Services & Real Estate
  • North America: Broadcasting & Advertising, Mechanical Components & Equipment, Publishing, Waste and Water Utilities, Luxury Goods & Cosmetics, Oil Equiment & Services, Specialised Retail, Transport & Logistics

As a result of the above sectors' review, ten companies and two development banks have been added to the Ethibel EXCELLENCE Investment Register given their performance above sector average. On the other hand, ten companies and one development bank have been removed on the basis of their overall CSR performance. 

In addition, the yearly screening of the country selection has taken place. One country, Costa Rica, has been added; another country, Hungary, has been removed. The remaining 29 countries have been reconfirmed for inclusion.

Hence, the Ethibel EXCELLENCE Investment Register now contains 343 listed companies and 517 listed bonds. The detailed composition is available, for non-commercial purposes only, on our website (registration required).

Belgian chemical companies reconfirmed in the Register 
On its meeting on 4 December 2015, the Register Committee reconfirmed the inclusion of Solvay and Umicore in the FE investment registers. The Committee analysed the performances of 28 European companies, based on the research by Vigeo. Both companies rank amongst the top CSR performers of the European chemical industry. Solvay and Umicore stand out for the quality of their human capital management which is a crucial asset in a knowledge based sector. In addition, they demonstrate a clear engagement to the transition to a more resource efficient society. Umicore’s recycling business accounts for 59% of revenues in 2014, while Solvay holds a strong position with regard to the use of bio-sourced raw materials.


Welcome to Stefanie Nijs, Forum ETHIBEL's new staff member

As of 1 December 2015, Forum ETHIBEL has hired Ms. Stefanie Nijs as our new staff member. She assumes the duties of Ms. Caroline van den Buijs, who will be leaving Forum ETHIBEL as of January 2016 to pursue her travel dreams. We genuinely thank Caroline for her efforts and most valuable contributions to our organisation, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours.