Laura Foose, from SPTF, says there is confusion within the industry about the plethora of social performance/RF initiatives. But in effect, the landscape is not murky: there is rather an emerging landscape of tools suited to the needs of all stakeholders.
In terms of organisations stating their committment, the Smart Campaign and MFT are well known. More recently, the GLobal Appeal launched in Paris recently. So endorsing these means that an organisation not only agrees with principles, but will take action
We all agree that RF is important, but the question must be, what are the next steps to implementation?
Tools for self-assesment: these include the SMART getting started questionnaire, the SPTF Universal Standards, and social audits.
Tools for implementation? There are the SMART implementation toolkits and the the USSPM implementation series.
The next thing an organisation can do is demonstrate commitment> This includes MFT price reporting, and reporting on social performance to the MIX.
Ratings are an important part of RF too, not just MF institutional ratings, but increasingly social ratings too.
Finally – in terms of certification – this can be done through the SMART Campaign, the MFT Seal of Transparency, or the MIX SP Certificate of Data Quality.
So these are the tools for retail providers. What about at the investor end? Carmen Velasco from Promujer wishes that the RF standards had existed 10 years ago. If they had, many of the recent problems in the industry might have been avoided. the Universal Standards and SMART are focusing the industry and institutional back on the client.