ESG is a vast subject covering many issues and as a concept means everything and nothing at the same time. It has become associated with certain investment styles and has even come to favour entire sectors over others. But at its heart, ESG analysis and work is not new. It is another tool in an investor’s kit to examine and identify value. It goes hand in hand with active ownership, through which we lever our position as investors to exert a degree of influence over the companies we own. And it all comes back to the fundamental question of whether companies are positioning themselves to make a long-term positive impact to society, remembering that an enterprise exists to deliver things that people need, find new ways to solve old problems, whilst generating jobs and returns for the savers whose capital they employ in the process. As with all modes of investment thinking, this kind of analysis needs to be washed down with a large dose of intellectual humility, curiosity and willingness to adapt.
With this in mind, I am delighted to introduce our updated ESG and Active Ownership Report. In addition to the usual collection of data and examples of how we engage with investee companies on behalf of our clients, future reports will include a series of written pieces covering topical areas from across the ESG spectrum and offer insight into our approach to these issues. The overall aim is to offer additional insight not only into the underlying data of our ESG and wider engagement activity, but also into our broader thinking. We hope that you enjoy reading it and look forward to the discussions it provokes.
30 April 2022
Q1 2022 - ESG and Active Ownership Report