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The Scott Trust Limited (Guardian Media Group)

PRI reporting framework 2018

You are in Strategy and Governance » Promoting responsible investment

Promoting responsible investment

SG 09. Collaborative organisations / initiatives

New selection options have been added to this indicator. Please review your prefilled responses carefully.

09.1. Select the collaborative organisation and/or initiatives of which your organisation is a member or in which it participated during the reporting year, and the role you played.

Select all that apply

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting period (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

We joined this exciting initiative just before this reporting period and remained active members in 2017.

          Charities Responsible Investment Network (ShareAction)
        

Your organisation’s role in the initiative during the reporting year (see definitions)

Provide a brief commentary on the level of your organisation’s involvement in the initiative. [Optional]

The Scott Trust joined this organisation just prior to this reporting period and remained an active member through 2017.


SG 09.2. Assets managed by PRI signatories (Private)


SG 10. Promoting RI independently

10.1. Indicate if your organisation promotes responsible investment, independently of collaborative initiatives.

10.2. Indicate the actions your organisation has taken to promote responsible investment independently of collaborative initiatives. Provide a description of your role in contributing to the objectives of the selected action and the typical frequency of your participation/contribution.

Description

          1. Broad and extremely active advocate of responsible investment and transparency in public debate and in the media as per below. 

2. Endowment directly seeks greater transparency and disclosure from industry, and has directly seeded new products addressing such needs.
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          Broad and extremely active advocate of responsible investment at events and conferences as per detail below.
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          We have promoted the UN PRI on our website and in our own Endowment Fund Performance Report during the period. For example:

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/aug/22/responsible-investors-unpri-listed-companies-survey
        

Frequency of contribution

Description

          Our own media platforms are leading global promoters of responsible investment : The Guardian and Observer newspapers, websites and apps.
        

Frequency of contribution

10.3. Describe any additional actions and initiatives that your organisation has taken part in during the reporting year to promote responsible investment [Optional]

As a high profile media organisation and publisher of The Guardian and Observer newspapers and websites, we have been a high profile advocate of responsible investment. We have used this global platform to promote support for the fossil fuel divestment movement and to influence behaviour of other asset owners, investment managers and companies. We have published numerous articles promoting responsible investment.

Our own decision to divest from fossil fuels is in keeping with the aim to promote responsible investment and also reflects our broader values. At the time of making the decision to divest from fossil fuels, our fund was the largest known fund to publically state its intention to divest, and we have continued to use our media platform to promote climate change awareness in responsible investment and the importance of actions to curb fossil fuel use. New examples during the reporting period:

 

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/18/boost-for-fossil-fuel-divestment-as-uk-eases-pension-rules

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/18/green-finance-taskforce-business-investment-clean-energy-infrastructure

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/15/top-uk-fund-manager-divests-from-fossil-fuels

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/15/invest-solar-energy-energise-frica

During the period, a very notable example of promotion of responsible investment was our lead role in the “Paradise Papers” exposé, exposing certain practices and calling for greater transparency and fairness in global finance and offshore investment.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/series/paradise-papers

We also led many campaigns around business ethics in relation to numerous social and environmental and governance issues.

More broadly, The Guardian and Observer employ a number of highly-experienced journalists dedicated to reporting on the environment, sustainability and good business in the UK and internationally. Comment is Free - a comment and political opinion site within the guardian.com - also regularly commissions authored pieces from leading commentators, academics, politicians, opinion formers and influential stakeholders, to further discuss and debate issues germane to the environment, sustainability and good business. In addition, the Guardian Professional Networks - a collection of community sites that bring professionals together to share ideas - include the global development network and the sustainable business network, covering the social and environmental impacts of business and providing a space for NGOs, aid workers and development professionals to share knowledge and expertise.

As a large asset owner aiming to take a proactive stance on sustainable investing we also aim to change the mind-set and behaviour of investment managers and promote a responsible investment agenda more generally.

Some examples of this during the reporting period are given below:

  • We were an early founding investor in a new clean energy fund.
  • We funded a new customized global passive equity product with zero exposure to fossil fuel producers, very reduced carbon emissions and increased exposure to companies with green revenues.
  • Our engagement let to the creation of two new fossil fuel free hedge fund share classes.
  • We encouraged and requested transparency on engagement, voting and responsible investment activities from our managers. This activity led to workplans to drive improvement.
  • We further re-allocated active equity positions towards managers meaningfully integrating ESG and pursuing responsible investment activities, making clear these were key factors in the selection and diligence process, and encouraging maximum transparency from the chosen manager on their approach to ESG.
  • Our feedback during the reporting period drove revisions to the sustainable investment policy for a new climate change aligned equity fund launch, formalizing fossil fuel exclusion. After the period, we committed to invest in this new product, and are acting as the initial seed investor for the vehicle designed for European investors.

SG 11. Dialogue with public policy makers or standard setters

11.1. Indicate if your organisation - individually or in collaboration with others - conducted dialogue with public policy makers or regulators in support of responsible investment in the reporting year.

11.2. Select the methods you have used.

11.3. Where you have made written submissions (individually or collaboratively) to governments and regulatory authorities, indicate if these are publicly available.

11.4. Provide a brief description of the main topics your organisation has engaged with public policy-makers or regulators on.

Dialogue with public policy makers occurs at both a corporate and journalist level in our organisation. We recognize that our unique position and global reach allows numerous positive interactions at many levels. Many of these are detailed on our new websites and in our newspapers.


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