Bonafide has received the FNG seal 2021 for sustainable investments for two funds. The Bonafide Global Fish Fund and Bonafide Investment Fund – Best Catches I were awarded the FNG seal and one star as part of the prize ceremony in Frankfurt.
“We believe that sustainability is an important factor for our investors.”Christoph Baldegger, Founder of Bonafide
What is the FNG seal?
The FNG seal is the quality standard for sustainable investment funds in German-speaking countries. The holistic methodology of the FNG seal is based on a minimum standard. These include transparency criteria and the consideration of labour & human rights, environmental protection and anti-corruption, as they are summarised in the globally recognised UN Global Compact.
All companies of the respective fund must be explicitly analysed in terms of their sustainability criteria. Investments in nuclear power, coal mining, coal-fired power generation, fracking and oil sands as well as weapons and armaments are strictly forbidden. High-quality sustainability funds which are particularly distinguished in the areas of “institutional credibility”, “product standards” and “impact” (bond selection, commitment and KPIs) receive up to three stars.
The FNG seal goes far beyond simply analysing the portfolio and is a comprehensive and meaningful rating. With over 80 questions, aspects such as style of sustainable investment, the accompanying investment process, the associated ESG research capacities and potential commitment to the process are analysed and evaluated. Furthermore, elements such as reporting, the investment company, an external sustainability committee and good company management play an important role.
What are the benefits for investors?
- Guaranteed sustainability of investments
- Feel-good factor: Investment doesn’t flow into excluded areas of business and practices
- Experienced quality check of the investment, certified by independent third parties and also externally monitored
- Objective external assessment vs. information from the fund provider
- Promotion of distribution and further development of sound, sustainable investment approaches
- Comparability & less information burden
How can you recognise a good sustainability fund?
This question is not easy to answer straight away, as the lack of an official definition of sustainable business activities, the inconsistent availability of sustainability data on the part of companies, and greenwashing by fund providers as well make an assessment extremely difficult. Our sustainability expert, Christoph Beierl, says on the topic:
“Ideally, the issue of sustainability doesn’t just play a secondary role in the composition of a fund, but is a central component of the investment process. In the case of Bonafide, for example, the corporate mission statement of the “Blue Revolution”, which is currently being driven primarily by the “Food from the Ocean” issue, is inseparably linked to the idea of sustainability”.Christoph Beierl, Sustainability expert
‘Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen’ as a guarantee of transparency
For many years, the Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG) has set itself the goal of shedding light on this confusing topic. Investors can find in-depth and useful information on many funds on the FNG website. In the Eurosif Transparency Code (the European umbrella organisation of the respective national forums on sustainable investment) or fund profiles, the fund provider describes the nature of their investment process and how sustainability is taken into account.
Comparability and orientation is required – quality standard as the next step!
In order to provide better comparability and orientation for investors along with transparency, the FNG has gone one step further with the creation of a quality label. The core idea of the seal is to rate the quality of a sustainability fund using a high-quality, comprehensive and independent audit process and award the fund one to three stars depending on its quality. Right from the start, the FNG placed great value on getting all market players involved in its development, not least to ensure the autonomy in the seal’s design.
As part of a three-year process, various interest groups within the industry and civil society – asset managers, asset owners, research agents, science, politics, NGOs, consumer organisations, churches, foundations and the media – have formed a work group since 2012 and help ensure that the requirements demanded of the seal are comprehensive, balanced, non-discriminatory and widely supported.
Our road to sustainability
Certain milestones have already been reached:
- Collaboration with ISS ESG to improve the portfolio rating coverage
- Personnel growth in the sustainability analysis
- Revision and formulation of our investment process
- Receipt of Eurosif transparency logo
- Receipt of FNG seal with one star for the Bonafide Global Fish Fund and Bonafide Investment Fund – Best Catches I
We want to continue our efforts with the FNG seal and acquire even more stars in future.
Resource intensity – fish wins
Fish is undeniably one of the few animal-based sources of protein which leaves behind a small environmental footprint during production.
Our sustainability expert Christoph Beierl is available for a personal consultation via Zoom Call.
Christoph Beierl, firstname.lastname@example.org, +423 288 00 36