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Blair makes summit plea for ethical investment

Prime Minister Tony Blair has used the Earth Summit in South Africa to call on the financial services industry to do more to promote sustainable and ethical investment.

In a speech delivered in Johannesburg on Monday, Blair endorsed the London Principles, a new code drawn up by the Corporation of London.

The code aims to encourage financial services firms to promote social development and long-term economic growth as well as protecting the environment.

The code says that firms should exercise equity ownership to promote these aims and price environmental and social cost into products.

Signatories to the code include CIS, Friends Provident, Jupiter, SG Asset Management, Morley Fund Management, Henderson Global Investors and the ABI.

Blair said: “Being competitive does not mean jettisoning environmental and social standards. On the contrary, the most competitive companies are likely to be building environmental and social considerations with their core business.”

CIS responsible shareholder analyst Jo Allen says: “The London Principles will be fundamental in mobilising financial institutions. They highlight the role of the financial system as a whole and how financial institutions operate within it to ensure that the market is working to achieve sustainable development.”

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