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  Gothenburg Psychology researchers win scholarship
Anders Biel, Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology at Gothenburg University, has received the "Exchange Society" (Börssälskapet) Scholarship for 2012. The scholarship is valued at SEK 600 000 (Approx. €70000) and dedicated to the Department of Psychology.

The decision was made to give the Department of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg. the scholarship because they want through their research to contribute to a better understanding of how attitudes, emotions, norms and values ​​influence people's decision-making and environmental behavior. The research spans from individual consumers' choice of "green" products to how the fund management company takes into account companies' environmental efforts when funds are established and managed.

The award was presented during a ceremony at the Clarion Hotel Post, in conjunction with The Exchange Society's spring meeting on May 8, 2012.


Sustainable Value team win German Sustainability Idea Competition
SIRP Mistra funded researchers in the Sustainable Value project, among them Dr Frank Figge and Dr Ralf Barkemeyer, has won the Idea Competition "Sustainable Corporate Governance: Cost Consciousness - Business Benefits" launched by the German Council for Sustainable Development! Please click here for more information - and here you can access the presentation.

The team consists of the following researchers:

Prof Frank Figge Euromed Marseille Management School

Dr Tobias Hahn Euromed Marseille Management School

Andrea Liesen University of Leeds

Lydia Illge Institute for Futures Studies and Technologie Assessment, Berlin

Dr Ralf Barkemeyer University of Leeds

Frank Müller Institute for Futures Studies and Technologie Assessment, Berlin

  Prestigious prize awarded to SIRP researchers
SIRP Mistra funded researchers, Sebastian Siegl and Andreas Hoepner from Åbo Akademi and University of St Andrews, have been awarded a €3,000 FIR PRI Research Grant in Paris in September 2011. 

The award was for their study, ‘Does pension funds' fiduciary duty prohibit the integration of any ESG criteria in investment processes?’ A realistic prudent investment test. 

“We are of course very proud for this great recognition of our work, which we hope will be useful both for practitioners and add a new dimension to the academic debate on the fiduciary responsibilities concerning Anglo-American pension funds”, says Sebastian Siegl. 

The study, which analyses 1500 firms from 26 developed countries over a period of 65 months, shows that pension funds are not likely to compromise on their financial attractiveness by integrating environmental criteria in their prudent investment process. The conclusion is based on data from EIRis Corporate environmental responsibility scores. 

“The paper is highly creative and practical and an excellent example of inter-disciplinary research. It tests whether investment approaches that use environmental information are consistent with fiduciary duty”, states the jury of the award.

“With this paper we wanted to study hands on if, and if so, how a pension fund can integrate ESG criteria in a prudent investment process without compromising their financial attractiveness,” explains Andreas Hoepner. 

The study and the prize award have received recognition in Le Monde in September “Une ethnographie de la finance”.
Co-author of the study is Michael Rezez, University of St Andrews. The findings are expected to also apply to social and governance responsibility scoring, the planned subject of a follow up study. 
  Best papers at the PRI-Mistra Conference 2011 

Beiting Cheng, together with George Serafeim and Iannis Ioannou, received the SEB Award for their paper "Corporate Social Responsibility and Access to Finance".

The subject of their paper of capital constraints has practical significance for both equity and debt investors and is of increasing importance in the current financial climate.

The methods, which draw on accounting, finance and economics as well as the use of stakeholder theory, from organizational studies is convincing and creative.

This work, which helps to develop links between the financial markets and firms, helps develop very exciting new paths for future research. The price winners are affiliated to Harvard Business School and London Business School. SEB Award is 5 000 euros.

The Umeå School of Business Award for Best Student Paper of 3 000 euros was given to Ariel Meyerstein University of California, Berkeley.

His paper "On the Effectiveness of Global Private Regulation: The Implementation of the Equator Principles by Multinational Banks" addresses an under-researched and controversial research area. The subject is central to understanding how financial institutions can organize to meet public interest objectives.

The approach, which examines the implementation of the Equator Principles over time offers lessons on ways to build private systems of transnational financial governance.
For more information about the price winners and their papers please see above links.

  Jonas Nilsson recognized for research on SRI

The Wallander foundation awards outstanding, young post-doctoral researchers within the economic disciplines. Jonas Nilsson, researcher at the SIRP programme and Umeå School of Business, has been awarded a three-year research scholarship for his research about consumer behaviour and SRI-funds.

In September 2010, Jonas Nilsson defended his thesis in which he identifies the information retail SRI fund investors are asking for before, during and after their purchase. Choosing an SRI fund (Socially Responsible Investment) is more complicated than choosing a traditional fund, since the investor desires to both receive a good financial return and to know that the investment contributes to sustainable development.

The award is 160 000 euro. The objective of the scholarship is to give young post-docs the opportunity to become associate professors.

Consumer Decision Making in a Complex Environment: Examining the Decision Making Process of Socially Responsible Mutual Fund Investors is available at www.sirp.se/publications. 

  Moskowitz Prize awarded to SIRP researchers

Daniel Hann and Rob Bauer, researchers funded by SIRP at Maastricht University, have been awarded with the Moskowitz Prize for their study “Corporate environmental management and credit risk". Companies that maintain high environmental management standards pay significantly less interest on their bonds than companies that do not pay much attention to environmental issues. For corporations, this can amount to a reduction in the annual cost of debt by several million euros per bond issue.

The research shows that environmental concerns are statistically more significant for the different credit risk proxies (particularly credit ratings). However, the relative economic significance of environmental concerns versus environmental strengths varies depending on the model specification that is selected.

Although this study focuses on US corporations (between 1995 and 2006) the findings are expected to also apply to corporations in countries with comparable environmental regulations and media influence. 

For more information on the Corporate environmental management and credit risk article, see www.sirp.se/publications.

  Award-Winning Paper

Joakim Sandberg, research in SIRP and a research fellow in philosophy at the University of Gothenburg, won a Highly Commended Paper Award at the International Conference on Corporate Governance in June. The theme of the conference was Corporate Governance and Sustainability. The paper of Joakim Sandberg paper was entitled ‘Socially Responsible Investment and Fiduciary Duty: Putting the Freshfields Report into Perspective’.

Joakim Sandberg received the award from the presenter Sir Adrian Cadbury, a celebrity in corporate governance. As former Chairman of Cadbury Schweppes, Director of IBM and Bank of England, Sir Cadbury has been a pioneer in raising the awareness on corporate governance. He has also produced the Cadbury Code, a code of best practice which has served as a basis for reform of corporate governance around the world.

  Best papers at PRI Academic Conference 2010

Paul Smeets, PhD student from Maastricht University, is one of the winners of the first PRI Academic Research Awards for papers of excellence on responsible investment. Paul Smeets received USD 4,000 for his paper on Social Values and Mutual Fund Clienteles.

Furthermore, the paper Sustainability and the Dynamics of Green Building, by Nils Kok and Piet
Eichholtz from Maastricht University was selected as a winner of the Academic Award. Together with co-author John M. Quigley, University of California, Berkeley, they were given the Academic Award and USD 7,000.

SIRP won the Globe Award 2008


Pontus Cerin, Henrik Nilsson, Lars Hassel and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

  Sustainable Investment Research Platform won the Globe Award 2008 with the motivation "for an outstanding and tangible research in the field of CSR." The Prize was handed out by Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden in the Stockholm City Hall where the Nobel Prize celebrations take place annual. The criteria of the prize are for research to be business relevant, assessable as well as supporting the business case.



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