The sector reports aim at helping policy makers, mainstream and specialist SRI investors, pension fund trustees, and companies understand risks that are not consistently integrated into traditional financial analysis, but which have the potential to influence companies’ shareholder value and fund managers’ investment decisions. They describe the companies’ impacts on the environment and society, discuss the opportunities and risks such issues present and outline ways in which companies can address them.

Eurosif conducted their own research for the Food Production report and worked with Bank Sarasin for the research side of the Insurance report. Both sector notes had steering committees to debate the issues and develop ways to present the stakeholder and financial points of view. For the Food Production report the steering committee included asset managers from Bank Sarasin & Co. Ltd, Crédit Agricole Asset Management, SAM Group, Société Générale Asset Management, and Schroders. For the Insurance sector note it was made up of asset managers from Crédit Agricole Asset Management, Dexia Insurance Services, Forética, Groupama Asset Management, and Oddo Securities.

Matt Christensen, Executive Director of Eurosif, states, “Our sector report programme highlights the key environmental, social and governance issues that European industries are facing today. Eurosif’s Member Affiliates play a critical role in working across countries to help us outline the most important extra-financial risks within each sector that they are measuring in today’s market.”

Eurosif highlighted four key challenges for the Food Production sector: Consumer Health & Nutrition, Safety of Food Products, Land Use & Water Shortage and Labour Standards & Human Rights.

As for the Insurance sector, Eurosif and Bank Sarasin noted five main issues facing the industry: Marketplace Conduct, Integration into Core Business, Access to Insurance Services, Sustainable Asset Management and Human Resources Management.

Eckhard Plinke, Head of Research from Bank Sarasin Sustainable Investment states,” “We were pleased to work with Eurosif and the steering committee to highlight trends, risks and opportunities in the insurance market. As the direct environmental and social impact of the sector is comparatively small, a comprehensive sustainability management approach, including indirect impacts, is still lacking in most companies. We feel this report will help investors make better informed decisions regarding company stocks as well as show companies areas where they might need to improve.”

These reports will be soon followed by two more from Eurosif covering the Paper & Forestry as well as Real Estate sectors. Robin Edme, Eurosif’s President says, “We plan to continue to produce sector reports as they have proven to be very useful in demonstrating the key non-financial risks in specific sectors and how companies should be developing strategic competence in their management of them.”