When applying our Ethical Charter to governments, we recognise that democratically elected governments play an important role in in advancing the interests of people, animals and the environment. To assess a government we therefore focus on its accountability and the general quality of its democracy, taking into account things like political rights, civil liberties and rule of law. We will not invest in undemocratic states, and democratic governments can also be excluded for militarism.
Even governments operating in strong democracies will have many polices which we disagree with. In these cases we think the most effective way for us to pursue positive change is to advocate for more sustainable policies through government consultations and submissions, and through our public voice in the media which can influence both governments and voters.
When investing in corporate fixed income securities, the screening under our Charter creates a universe of sustainable companies. Our broad and deep research of short and long term social and environmental impacts of companies and sectors builds a more complete understanding of the prospects and risks of the companies and sectors in our universe. As well as defining a sustainable investment universe, this enables more impactful engagement with companies.