Publications & guidelines

Erste AM guidelines

The Principles of Responsible Investing (PRI) as laid down by the United Nations are the basis of our sustainable investment approach. As signatory of the PRI, Erste Asset Management is committed to the following principles in its investment policy:

  1. We will take into account environmental, social, and governance topics (ESG) in our investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  2. We will be an active owner and integrate ESG topics into our ownership policy and practice.
  3. We will require appropriate reporting of ESG topics from the companies we invest in.
  4. We will promote the acceptance and implementation of the PRI in the investment industry.
  5. We will co-operate with partners so as to increase the effectiveness of the implementation of the PRI.
  6. We will report on our activities and progress in the implementation of the PRI.

We also require our external partners to have either signed the PRI or to follow them
to the greatest extent possible.

Guidelines on minimum ethical standards

These are minimum ethical standards for all mutual funds (bonds, equities) of Erste Asset Management:

Exclusion of controversial weapons

  • Since 2012 Erste Asset Management has committed to refraining from investments in companies that are involved in the production or trade of controversial weapons. Among them are:
  • Biological and chemical weapons
  • Submunition, including possible launch and ejection systems
  • Anti-personnel mines, mine-planting systems, and other mine systems
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Depleted uranium weapons

No speculation on food

In line with the social responsibility of the entire Erste Group, Erste Asset Management committed in 2013 to refraining across all the investment funds and client portfolios it manages from investments that bet on an increase in food prices. In particular, for our multi-asset mandates – both umbrella funds and asset management solutions - we will not invest in third-party funds or derivatives that speculate on food prices.

No investment in coal

In 2016, Erste Asset Management was one of the first investment fund companies in Austria and Europe to commit to the exclusion of investments in coal across all mutual funds on the basis of individual securities (equities and bonds). All companies that generate more than 30% of sales from coalmining are excluded. Any and all investments in the portfolios were sold by 1 November 2016.

Exclusion Criteria for the Responsible Funds




(affects all mutual funds of Erste AM)


















Producers of abortion drugs as well as operation of abortion clinics   max. 5% of revenues   zero tolerance
ANIMAL TESTING Unless required by law   zero tolerance   zero tolerance

Producers and traders of weapons, weapon systems, controversial weapons, i.e., nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, uranium ammunition


controversial weapons

zero tolerance zero tolerance zero tolerance
  Top 100 arms-producing & military services companies in the world (SIPRI)   zero tolerance   max. 5% of revenues
BANKS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES Systematic violations of accepted business practices   zero tolerance   zero tolerance
BUSINESS MALPRACTICE Accounting fraud and corruption: non-compliance with legal requirements   zero tolerance zero tolerance zero tolerance

Child labour in massive violation of the fundamental principles of the ILO Declaration

  zero tolerance

no relevance

zero tolerance
COAL MINING Coal mining and liquefaction to fuels   max. 5% of revenues max. 5% of revenues zero tolerance
  Producers of coal power   max. 5% of revenues   zero tolerance


Specialized companies   zero tolerance zero tolerance zero tolerance
FRAUD AND CORRUPTION Disregard of legal regulations   zero tolerance zero tolerance zero tolerance
GAMBLING Operators and specialized manufacturers  

max. 5% of revenues

max. 5% of revenues

zero tolerance
GMO Producers of manipulated seeds   zero tolerance zero tolerance zero tolerance
  Use of manipulated seed     zero tolerance zero tolerance

Producers of nuclear power, key components for nuclear power stations as well as producers and traders of uranium

  zero tolerance zero tolerance zero tolerance

Traders of key components for nuclear power stations 


max. 5% of revenues

zero tolerance zero tolerance


Commercial abortion clinics and pharmaceuticals   max. 5% of revenues zero tolerance no relevance
PORNOGRAPHY Producers of pornography   zero tolerance zero tolerance zero tolerance
  Trader of pornography   max. 10% of revenues max. 10% of revenues zero tolerance


Producers of end products   zero tolerance max. 5% of revenues zero tolerance


Producers and Processors - Production of crude oil and natural gas by conventional and non-conventional methods (fracking, oil sands)   max. 5% of revenues   zero tolerance
  Refining of crude oil   max. 5% of revenues   zero tolerance
  High share of non-conventional reserves in total reserves   max. 20% of total reserves   zero tolerance
  Power generation from crude oil   max. 5% of revenues   zero tolerance


Companies that fail to comply with the United Nations Global Compact principles   zero tolerance   zero tolerance

Violation of HUMAN RIGHTS

Disregard of generally accepted norms, principles and standards for the protection of human rights, e.g., the International Bill of Human Rights, UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights   zero tolerance zero tolerance zero tolerance

Violation of LABOUR RIGHTS

Disregard of generally accepted norms, principles and standards for the protection of workers, e.g.,  the core principles of the ILO, i.e., freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, forced labour, discrimination, and other aspects for companies and suppliers/sub-contractors   zero tolerance zero tolerance zero tolerance










AUTHORITARIAN REGIME Classification by „Freedom House“ not free zero tolerance

no relevance

no relevance


Countries with widespread use of child labor

zero tolerance no relevance no relevance
  CLIMATE PROTECTION Non-ratification of the Kyoto Protocol zero tolerance no relevance no relevance
    Non-ratification of the paris convention zero tolerance no relevance no relevance
  CORRUPTION countries scoring lower than 50 points in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI)      


Death penalty not completely abolished

zero tolerance no relevance no relevance
  FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION countries with severe restrictions regarding the possibility of free assembly and of trade union organisation   no relevance no relevance
  HUMAN RIGHTS Countries with massive restrictions zero tolerance no relevance no relevance
  LABOUR RIGHTS Countries with particularly low standards zero tolerance no relevance no relevance


countries that possess nuclear weapons according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) or countries that have not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons zero tolerance    
  NUCLEAR ENERGY Share of primary energy production
(3-year average)
from 40 % *

no relevance

no relevance

  MILITARY EXPENSES Military expenditure/BIP

from 3% *

no relevance

no relevance




Since 2013, Erste Asset Management has committed itself to refrain from investing in food in all the investment funds it manages and from investing in derivatives.

Please note the warnings at the bottom of the page.

Active Ownership

By active ownership we mean our responsibility to not only take into account sustainability issues when selecting the securities for our portfolios as investors, but also to actively push for measures towards social responsibility, environmental protection, or stronger transparency from companies that we invest in.

In doing so, we distinguish between engagement, i.e. the formal or informal dialogue with the company, and voting, i.e. the exercise of voting rights at Annual General Meetings (AGMs). Both activities pursue the goal of strengthening the voice that our clients have given us by investing in our sustainable funds and submitting it to the companies.

Once a year we report in depth on our voting and engagement activities:


As engaged investor, we want to achieve an active dialogue with the invested companies and states within the framework of our sustainability process. This way, we can point out weaknesses in environmental, social, or governance areas and subsequently try to jointly find a solution for improvement. Our engagement is not only a question of responsibility but also contributes to the minimisation of risk and can thus improve the long-term investment success of our clients. We engage with companies in which the funds of the ERSTE RESPONSIBLE line invest. In individual cases we may also contact companies that we are not invested in; after all, we also want to achieve change at companies that are not investable to us due to their shortcomings in the area of sustainability. We may exclude companies from our investment universe that refuse to engage in dialogue. In our engagement process, we use four strategies:

Austria engagement Advancement of the integration of ESG criteria in management decisions of Austrian companies via investor meetings / one-on-one talks.
Theme engagement Bundling of ESG interests with other investors so as to have a bigger potential impact on (and elicit interest from) especially international groups. In doing so, we rely on international sustainability networks such as PRI, CRIC, and the engagement service of Sustainalytics. 
Collaborative engagement ESG research on topics of particular social relevance. The findings are provided to the fund management team and may result in divestment. We may also increase investor pressure by preparing a focused ESG letter and/or press releases.
ESG dialogue Advancement of the integration of ESG criteria in management decisions of international companies through talks with top management.


Voting is the second central pillar of the active ownership approach of Erste AM. We have exercised the voting rights associated with the shares in our ERSTE RESPONSIBLE funds at Annual General Meetings since 2012. This way, we actively project the voice of our clients as indirect owners of the invested companies.

In order to ensure the transparency and consistency of our voting, we have compiled a detailed guideline and regularly and publicly report on our voting behaviour on our voting portal. This guideline does not only apply to our sustainable equity funds, but also to our traditionally managed equity funds.

„Due to the present Covid-19-crisis it might happen in exceptional cases, that voting rights are not executed”

Sustainability handbook

Sustainability means being aware of one's actions and their consequences and designing them in such a way that they do not harm anyone if possible. In other words, actions and deeds of the present generation should not restrict the ability of future generations to act. Sustainable action means behaving like a farmer who cares for a tree in the best possible way and harvests its fruit without cutting it down. In this way, one can expect a sustainable high harvest without endangering the livelihood of tomorrow.

Publications of Erste AM

Sustainable footprint

Sustainability profiles

Other documents

Erste Ethics Advisory Board

The Erste Ethik Advisory Board supports Erste Asset Management in all matters related to the ESG approach and investment process. It currently comprises five experts from the fields of management accounting, taxes, political science, ethical and sustainable investment and moral theology.

More topics


This document is an advertisement. All data is sourced from Erste Asset Management GmbH, unless indicated otherwise. Our languages of communication are German and English.

The prospectus for UCITS (including any amendments) is published in Amtsblatt zur Wiener Zeitung in accordance with the provisions of the InvFG 2011 in the currently amended version. Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG is prepared for the alternative investment funds (AIF) administered by Erste Asset Management GmbH, pursuant to the provisions of the AIFMG in connection with the InvFG 2011.

The fund prospectus, Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG, and the key investor document/KID can be viewed in their latest versions at the  web site or obtained in their latest versions free of charge from the domicile of the management company and the domicile of the custodian bank. The exact date of the most recent publication of the fund prospectus, the languages in which the key investor document is available, and any additional locations where the documents can be obtained can be viewed on the web site

This document serves as additional information for our investors and is based on the knowledge of the staff responsible for preparing it at the time of preparation. Our analyses and conclusions are general in nature and do not take into account the individual needs of our investors in terms of earnings, taxation, and risk appetite. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of the future performance of a fund. Please note that investments in securities entail risks in addition to the opportunities presented here. The value of shares and their earnings can rise and fall. Changes in exchange rates can also have a positive or negative effect on the value of an investment. For this reason, you may receive less than your originally invested amount when you redeem your shares. Persons who are interested in purchasing shares in investment funds are advised to read the current fund prospectus(es) and the Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG, especially the risk notices they contain, before making an investment decision.

Please consult the corresponding information in the fund prospectus and the Information for Investors pursuant to § 21 AIFMG for restrictions on the sale of fund shares to American citizens. Misprints and errors excepted.