The Guernsey Association of Pension Providers has published an ESG framework aimed at giving guidance to industry practitioners who wish to incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance considerations into their pension planning.
The framework is similar in structure to the Guernsey International Insurance Association’s ESG framework that was launched in 2021, and further strengthens Guernsey’s growing suite of ESG-focused guidance.
“ESG is no longer marginal and is increasingly being regarded as a core issue for international pension schemes. Our members have indicated that they would welcome further guidance in this area following growing emphasis on ESG issues for pension planning,” said Guernsey Association of Pension Providers (GAPP) Chair Stephen Ainsworth (pictured).
This Framework marks a first step for Guernsey based pension schemes to recognise how they can contribute towards Sustainable Development Goals and make ESG at the heart of their governance structure.”
He added that the GIIA framework contains many concepts that would apply to the pensions industry as well as the insurance sector.
“We were aware of the insurance framework developed by GIIA, and the positive reaction that there had been to its publication,” Stephen said.
“Because of the many similarities between insurance business and pensions business, this seemed like a good place to start.
“When we looked at the GIIA framework in detail we felt that several of the concepts were equally as valid for pensions as insurance. We have met with GIIA and have been encouraged by their reaction when they learned that we might develop a parallel framework for pensions.”
There are three core pillars to the framework – the first is governance, with the principle aim of ensuring that ESG is embedded within decision making and the governance of a particular scheme.
The second pillar centres on Investments held and whether they contribute to achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The third pillar looks at reporting, with the principle aim of ensuring transparency is at the heart of the framework.
Adele Gale, who was instrumental in the creation of the ESG framework for the insurance sector said: “We were delighted to be approached by GAPP and to support the development of their ESG Framework. With the growing wealth of sustainable finance expertise in Guernsey our members benefit from a virtuous cycle of deepening and broadening knowledge and perspectives which in turn drive further developments. We congratulate GAPP on the success of the launch of their Framework.”
Rupert Pleasant, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance, promotional agency for the financial services sector, welcomed the framework. He commented: “Guernsey is already a leading centre of sustainable finance as well as centre of excellence for retirement benefit plans. Our position in the global sector is based on innovation, a supportive and responsive government and regulatory regime.
“To date, Guernsey has produced an impressive suite of literature aimed at addressing ESG issues across the financial services sector, from funds to private wealth, insurance and now the pensions sector.
“This development demonstrates a commitment to sustainability by the pensions industry that runs across the entire financial services sector.”
The framework can be viewed via the Guernsey Association of Pension Providers website here.