The European Responsible Investment Network is go!

By Friederike Hanisch, European Network Manager, ShareAction

16 June 2016

Last week, some of the ShareAction team packed their bags and headed to Berlin. Why? To officially launch the European Responsible Investment Network! We were also there to host a two-day conference, bringing together civil society organisations, investors, policymakers and individuals to learn more about how we can work together to promote Responsible Investment in Europe.

We were bowled over by the amount of enthusiasm, energy and expertise in the room! We’re confident that the network will go on to achieve great things. Here are a few pictures from our time in Berlin.
IMG_0301 (1)

Shiny conference programmes, all ready for the 140 attendees!


ShareAction Chief Executive Catherine Howarth opens the conference at the Heinrich Böll foundation in Berlin.


Keynote speaker David Pitt-Watson opens the conference with speech. “The Berlin Wall, a few hundred metres down the road from here, is a hugely important symbol of a discussion and a debate in politics that we had during the 20th century. This was a debate that nearly caused the end of civilisation, and it revolved around one central issue… who controls capital. The control of capital really, really mattered. And it still does today.” 


The first panel kicks off. Up for discussion: how can we promote Responsible Investment through domestic and European policy?

IMG_0425 (1)

After a delicious lunch, the afternoon kicks off with Xander den Uyl from Dutch pension fund ABP, explaining the fund’s innovative approach to member communications, and how member engagement has led the fund to update and improve its Responsible Investment policy. 


The next panel discussion is a lively one: are investors doing enough to shift the system towards responsible and long-term investment?


The next panel discussed sustainable investment options for institutional investors, from renewable energy to green bonds.


Heffa Schücking, CEO of German environmental and human rights organisation urgewald, talks about its campaign to make the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund, the second largest in the world, divest from coal. 


Panellists discuss the role of civil society organisations, including ERIN members, in using the investment system to deliver positive change.


Myself and Camilla de Ste Croix, Senior Policy Officer at ShareAction and our European policy lead, summarise the first day of the conference. 


Day one of a successful conference over… Time for snacks, wine and Responsible Investment gossip! 


Day two, for civil society organisations, kicks off with a presentation and discussion on ERIN’s theory of change.


Attendees map out their priorities for ERIN. 


In a breakout session, attendees brainstorm how to use policy to promote Responsible Investment across Europe. 


A breakout session on how to promote investment that will keep global temperature rises under two degrees attracts lots of interest. 


Capital markets campaigning expert Louise Rouse shares insights from her experience using investor engagement to shift corporate behaviour.


The European Responsible Investment Network!

If you’d like to know more about the network, get in touch here.


Colette St-OngeThe European Responsible Investment Network is go!