GES Investment Services joined the UN Global Compact in 2004. We are through our business idea committed to bring Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) services to institutional investors and asset managers. In practice this means that we daily work to advance the ten Global Compact principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. In everything we do we set a pride in taking responsibility as individuals and as a company. An essential part of this is to walk our talk in sustainability issues. Or as expressed in our mission: Everyday, we make the world a little bit better – investments, companies, our business and, of course, the world.
Our premier opportunity to make a difference is through our services. They are based on the international conventions as expressed in the Global Compact and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, which we consider as guidelines for a global market, both for corporations and investors. During 2005-2006, this has rendered us a 25 percent increase in assets under our advice, now totalling 130 billion Euros.
On behalf of our clients – including numerous well-known pension funds, banks and other investors – we perform environmental and social screening of more than 4,000 of the largest listed companies in the world. With some of them we engage in dialogue and active ownership in order to improve performance. During 2005-2006, notable progress has been achieved with numerous companies.
Internally, we have improved the working conditions by moving to new office locations in August 2005 and investing in new office equipment for about 25 percent of our employees. We strive to find the best available technique with regards to environment, health and safety. As travelling is our major environmental impact, we uphold a travel policy recommending train transportation when travelling less than 600 kilometres.
We encourage health activities among employees with financial support – utilized by 40 percent – and provide organic fruit at work. In addition, coffee and other refreshments, stationery as well as Christmas gifts for clients and employees are almost entirely purchased from environmentally and/or fair trade-certified producers. An external partner is contracted for waste recycling.
We promote a positive attitude towards maternal and paternal leave; during 2005-2006, two male employees were on paternal leave for more than six months. Through a new data base solution, we have facilitated better opportunities for employees to occasionally work from home. We have enlisted with the SOS Children’s Villages as a sponsor of a village in Poland and engaged clients in additional fundraising for the village.
President, GES Investment Services
October 16, 2006