French Minister of Economy, Finance and Recovery Bruno Le Maire today announced a series of updates to the French Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) label, aiming to make the label more demanding and climate-oriented, including new rules that would effectively exclude most oil . and gas companies from funds with an SRI label.
The SRI label was launched in 2016 by the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, with the aim of enabling the general public to invest in savings instruments that integrate ESG principles. The label, which is awarded following a strict compliance process carried out by an independent body, is systematically mentioned in life insurance units and in pension savings plans.
Currently, almost 1,200 funds, representing more than €770 billion in assets under management, use the SRI label.
The update follows Le Maire’s launch in 2021 of a committee aimed at strengthening the ambition and requirements of the SRI label, which has not been significantly updated since 2016, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Based on the committee’s recommendations, the label will be updated with stricter requirements and climate impact as a starting point. Under the new rules, funds with the SRI label will have to exclude companies that exploit coal or unconventional hydrocarbons, as well as companies launching new oil and gas exploration, production or refining projects.
The new rules also require companies included in SRI-labeled funds to have a transition plan aligned with the Paris Agreement.
“We must offer a simple and effective label that allows the French to give meaning to their savings. That is what we are doing with this new ISR label, in which the fight against global warming becomes essential. This way, savers can take the ecological transition into account and companies can finance their decarbonization more easily.”
The new SRI labeling standard will be published later this month and come into effect in March 2024.