The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

CSR: Pension funds turn up ESG dial

Blue states lead lagging US on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing; pension funds hold investment managers accountable.


In June, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the largest pension fund in the world, with more than $1.3 trillion in assets, said it plans to raise its allocation to environmentally and socially responsible investments to 10% of its stock holdings from 3% now. It recently chose three environmental, social and governance (ESG) indices as benchmarks, including the FTSE Blossom Japan Index and the MSCI Japan Empowering Women Index.

It is a huge show of support for ESG investing from a sector that has not uniformly embraced responsible investing. Alex Bernhardt, the US head of responsible investment at consultants Mercer, says US pension funds have been slow in comparison with European or Australian funds in adopting ESG principles for their investments.

“Large US pension funds have had aggressive ESG agendas for some time and have tended to focus on the ‘G’, but there is a huge number of smaller muni and private pensions that are doing very little,” he says. In part, that is because they lack the resources to fully assess and engage with the companies in which they invest.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree