New laws will put greater focus on SRI, says forum

The growing significance of the value of a company’s reputation is highlighted this week by the introduction of new pensions legislation.

The growing significance of the value of a company’s reputation is

highlighted this week by the introduction of new pensions

legislation.



The legislation was heralded by John Browne, director of reputation

assurance at Price waterhouseCoopers, at last week’s Communication

Directors Forum.



Under the legislation all UK private sector pension funds will be

legally obliged to consider socially responsible investment (SRI) and

voting rights as part of their overall investment policy. The regulation

requires trustees to ensure that funds disclose whether they take full

account of the environmental, social and ethical impact of their

investments.



Browne says legislation is set to drive SRI to the top of the City and

business agenda.



’Companies have become increasingly aware of the need to report on

social issues to stakeholders, especially those who understand that

actively managing their corporate reputations feeds straight through to

the bottom line and shareholder value,’ he said.



The pensions legislation is one of several wide-ranging reforms of UK

company law proposed by the Government.



The DTI’s Company Law Review, currently in its consultative phase,

proposes that listed companies should report on their policies and

performance on community, social, ethical and reputation issues.



Leader, p12.



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