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Dutch pension fund moves $6.6 billion into sustainable portfolio

Pensioenfonds Detailhandel, Utrecht, the Netherlands, selected the FTSE Russell index as the benchmark for its €5.8 billion ($6.6 billion) developed markets passive equity allocation run by BlackRock (BLK), Henk Groot, the fund's head of investments, said Tuesday in an email.

The €21 billion pension fund for workers employed in the retail industry invests 32% of total portfolio in passive equity.

"(Our) main motivation was to integrate the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals we implemented in our environmental, social and governance policy in our passively managed equity portfolio, starting with the developed-markets portfolio," Mr. Groot said. "We did that by creating our own customized SDG FTSE Russell Developed Markets index."

Mr. Groot said the index aligns a broad market equity benchmark with UN goals focusing on economic growth, responsible consumption and production, climate action and peace, justice and strong institutions.

"Company weights within the index are adjusted using FTSE Russell's ESG research on themes including climate change, human rights and community and labor standards," he said, adding: "Based on the outcomes, companies are underweighted or overweighted. The index is sector neutral."