Sustainable Investment

Product Development

Icon Productsrfu provides institutional investors that focus their portfolios in a sustainable manner (e.g. pension and provident funds) or would like to launch products (e.g. sustainability funds) with well-founded know-how, long-standing experience and understanding for the needs of asset management and sales.

Sustainable Investment means it is not only classical financial criteria that are integrated in the investment process but also the social and ecological or ethical quality of a company (or other issuers). Comprehensive (positive and negative) criteria, which are embedded in a basic sustainability concept, operationalize the complex matter in terms of natural and social sciences and enable a well-founded quality assessment, which can be used to the benefit of the investment decision.

Our services cover the complete process of product development – from the strategic design to developing criteria and embedding them in the investment process while focusing on the respective customers’ goals and restrictions relating to marketing and investment policy.

Second Party opinion for Social and Green Bonds …

The rfu, as an independent and external sustainability researcher, conducts in-depth sustainability reports for issuers in order to

  • make the social and ecological quality as well as the use of the Green or Social Bonds transparent,
  • make the proceeds of the bond comprehensible
  • evaluate their social and ecological impact and
  • document the quality of the associated processes within the bank.

Integration of sustainability in product and investment strategies…

of institutional investors, such as pension and income provision funds, mutual funds, venture capital companies, banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges and index providers

  • includes the definition of sustainability / ethics / social responsibility in the sense of the customers and their stakeholders
  • and the embedding in the overall, investment or product strategy

… including the development of investment concepts and criteria …

  • development of methods, processes and criteria for rating the sustainability of single components and overall portfolios
  • anchoring in the investment process
  • development of the technical rules for indices
  • customer specific or derived from rfu’s Sustainability Model

… while considering customer specific requirements and possibilities

relating to the legal framework, the investment universe, asset classes, market requirements, standards and regulations, labels, etc.

Sustainability Research

Icon Researchrfu’s Sustainability Model has its origin in the 1990’s. Continual optimization of methodology, citeria and the research process based on inputs from two interdisciplinary scientific research projects as well as 1000 fold practical use have created one of the most mature tools for the external rating of corporate sustainability.

Sustainability Research is the analysis and assessment of the social and ecological or ethical quality of a company (or other issuers). Sustainability research is no alternative to classical financial analysis but usefully supplements it by expanding the information base and thus makes it possible to make the investment decision more well-founded. For ultimately social and ecological performance also is relevant in economic terms.

rfu’s Sustainability Model uses approx. 400 single social and ecological indicators and aggregates their features over several levels to an overall rating.

Index products impressively show the positive performance effect of our research, which is integrated in portfolios with a total volume of several billions of Euro.

Sustainability analyses and ratings …

  • based on rfu’s Sustainability Model or customer specific concepts
  • relating to listed and not-listed companies
  • as well as governmental, municipal and supra-national issuers
  • on the level of single issuers as well as entire funds, sectors, regions or investment themes

… as a basis for asset management decisions …

taken by institutional investors, such as pension and income provision funds, mutual funds, venture capital companies, banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges and index providers

  • by an ongoing sustainability research as a supplementary decisional base
    to financial analysis
  • and the sustainability rating and control of entire portfolios

… as well as other applications …

above all for companies, public bodies and associations

  • e.g. supplier assessments, determining the actual state and benchmarking (Sustainability Rating Report)
  • and making rankings or presenting labels and awards

Other Activities

Icon Labellingrfu prepares concepts and audit reports for labels and also sees itself as an interface to business and investment practice. rfu brings its know-how into research projects and technical trainings as well as into the sustainability and financial community and the public and mass media.

Labelling in the field of sustainable investment …

for carrier organizations of labels and applicants

Labelling: Financial investments are items subject to confidence. This is particularly true for sustainable investments. Therefore, several standards and regulations and quality labels have been created. For example, the Austrian Environmental Label has been established by a guideline for investment funds.

  • includes conceiving criteria and audit processes for labels and standards
  • and audit reports, above all for the Austrian Environmental Label for Sustainable Financial Products and the OGUT Label for Income Provision and Pension Funds

… as well as research and development …

above all for such public bodies as ministries and institutions for promoting research

Research & training: Sustainability is a complex, dynamic and young matter. The need for scientific processing by means of fundamental research and application research as well as communication by way of training and public relations is big.

  • by initiating and conducting R&D projects in the field of sustainable investment in cooperation with universities and economic partners

… and training and public relations

  • by holding lectures about the topic of sustainable investment at universities, in courses and on the occasion of events
  • publication of articles in technical literature, journals and dailies
  • and participating in professional associations