Sustainable and responsible finance: trust the labels!

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4 min
By Birdee

SRI, Toward-Sustainability or LuxFlag are just some of the terms in the long list of certifications that offer you the certainty of investing in responsible funds. Find out which ones Birdee trusts.


Do you want to invest your money ethically while obtaining an attractive return? You're making the right choice! Birdee offers responsible portfolios made up of up to 82.5% of SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) labelled assets. This label, which guarantees transparency as well as the positive and sustainable contributions of our investment solutions, is however only one among others in the jungle of labels that exist today. Do they all meet the same required criteria? How many funds do each of them manage? Birdee takes stock to help you find your way!


The SRI fund: the French benchmark

Created in 2015 by the French Ministry of the Economy and Finance, this label is a safe bet. This is the one we have chosen for you! "The SRI is an investment that aims to reconcile economic performance and social and environmental impact by financing companies that contribute to sustainable development in all sectors of activities", says the website of Novethic, a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts. To be eligible, a fund claiming to be SRI must in particular justify how the ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) criteria are taken into account.  

The number of certified SRI funds nearly doubled in 2020 (more than 630 compared to 365 at the end of 2019) for assets currently exceeding EUR 553 billion. These figures show to what extent responsible finance is more relevant than ever. At Birdee, we are proud to have positioned ourselves in this segment several years ago. This shows that we had got it right and that we believe, like you, that ethics and finance are not mutually exclusive.


Toward-Sustainability: the Belgian benchmark

Created in 2019 at the initiative of Febelfin, the Belgian federation of the financial sector, this label, along with the SRI label, is the other heavyweight in Europe for certifications related to ethical finance. Pending a European label, this certification is also a guarantee for us that a fund or ETF is managed responsibly.  

More than EUR 390 billion are under management in 2021 following the criteria of the quality standard embodied by the label, a quarter of which is in Belgium and the rest in a dozen different countries. As with SRI certification, Towards-Sustainability offers the guarantee of investing in companies with a well-defined sustainability strategy around three criteria: environment, social and governance.


LuxFlag : the Luxembourg benchmark

With more than 300 labelled funds, the LuxFlag label is suitable for investment funds that also incorporate ESG criteria in their investment process. It is particularly focused on projects related to microfinance and excludes activities related to anything that can contribute to deforestation or food insecurity (biofuels, biomass, hydroelectric dams, etc.)


Greenfin: green suits it very well

The successor of the TEEC (Energy and Ecological Climate Transition), which was created in 2015 at the time of COP 21, it was renamed Greenfin in 2019. Its distinctive feature is that it is dedicated to green finance, and therefore "de facto" excludes funds that support and finance companies directly or indirectly linkined to fossil fuels or nuclear energy. It recognises 8 activities:

  • building,
  • waste management,
  • industry,
  • new, clean modes of transportation,
  • information and communication technologies,
  • agriculture and forestry,
  • adaptation to climate change,
  • energy.

Unlike the SRI label, this one is only interested in the "environment" part of the ESG letters, but it is particularly demanding in this area. About sixty funds are currently listed within this label which can be issued by three independent third-party organisations: Novethic, EY France and Afnor Certification.


Finansol : a French pioneer in responsible and solidarity-based finance

This label is one of the oldest in the field of sustainable and responsible finance. It dates back to 1997! At the time, ethical investing was still in its infancy. Finansol makes it possible to distinguish socially responsible savings investments from other savings products in order to determine which ones have an outstanding amount that is dedicated to financing activities with a strong social and/or environmental utility. This label, like the SRI or Greenfin label, applies to all types of financial investments (savings accounts, term accounts, life insurance, etc.) and listed 166 solidarity financial products at the end of 2020.


After reading this article, do find there are many labels and have a hard time finding your way around them? Don't panic! At Birdee, we have chosen to offer portfolios made up entirely of assets labelled SRI and/or Toward-Sustainability. This will give you the certainty of investing in responsible funds that give meaning to your investments.

We also remain very attentive to changes in terms of certifications, whether they already exist or are yet to come. As such, Birdee is particularly interested in the "European Ecolabel" project on financial products. This is expected to lead to a continent-wide standardisation of criteria and incorporate ever more rigorous ESG management and transparency requirements. It's enough to give your investments even more weight in terms of ethics and responsibility!


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