The world’s largest pension fund, the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) of Japan, wants to see its home market become the fastest-improving country on ESG rankings in 2018.
GPIF’s chief investment officer, Hiromichi Mizuno, made the statement in an interview examining the record of Japanese companies on environmental, social and governance issues.
A survey from Reuters in November revealed that despite government encouragement, it was unclear how committed Japanese companies are to ESG measures.
The survey showed that 83% of companies were currently not included in ESG indexes and had no interest in being included.
Mizuno told the Japan Times: “I want Japan to become the fastest-improving country in terms of global ESG rankings (in 2018).”
He made a direct appeal to Japan’s biggest businesses: “This is my challenge to Japanese companies. If the Japanese companies are as good as they always say, we can help improve their disclosure and their score should improve dramatically in the most efficient way.”
Mizuno also gave an indication of the importance of Japan’s companies commiting to ESG.
“GPIF’s portfolio only becomes sustainable when the system becomes sustainable,” he said.