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Schroders

PRI reporting framework 2019

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Investment policy

SG 01. RI policy and coverage

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

01.1. Indicate if you have an investment policy that covers your responsible investment approach.

01.2. Indicate the components/types and coverage of your policy.

Select all that apply

Policy components/types

Coverage by AUM

          Conflicts of interest
        

01.3. Indicate if the investment policy covers any of the following

01.4. Describe your organisation’s investment principles and overall investment strategy, interpretation of fiduciary (or equivalent) duties,and how they consider ESG factors and real economy impact.

At Schroders, responsible investment principles drive our investment decisions and the way we manage funds. We see ourselves as long-term stewards of our clients’ capital and this philosophy naturally leads us to focus on the long-term prospects for companies in which we invest. In our view, successful investment is intrinsically linked to identifying, understanding and incorporating the effects of environmental, social and governance.

We firmly believe analysing a company’s exposure to, and management of, ESG factors, in addition to traditional financial analysis, will enhance our understanding of a company’s fair value and ability to deliver sustainable returns over the long-term.

Our integration approach spans the breadth of the ownership lifecycle, from identifying trends and analysing companies through ownership, engagement, voting and reporting.

At Schroders, we believe there are four principal dimensions to sustainable investing:

  1. As responsible owners seeking to manage, protect and enhance the value of investments on behalf of our clients through active engagement and voting;
  2. As an integral element of understanding companies’ long term competitive strengths;
  3. To help identify structural shifts that will drive growth in new markets, technologies and assets; and
  4. To provide investment solutions aligned with our clients’ core values and beliefs.

01.5. Provide a brief description of the key elements, any variations or exceptions to your investment policy that covers your responsible investment approach. [Optional]

Schroders' ESG policy outlines our principles and practices around sustainability, and reflects our commitment to responsible investment. It includes our ESG definition, how we integrate ESG considerations as part of the overall investment process across listed assets (equities, credit, sovereigns, convertible bonds, insurance-linked securities), our engagement process and rationale, our voting policy and our core corporate governance principles when determining how to vote.

We have a separate Real Estate Sustainability Policy and Responsible Investment Policy for Private Equity.

We comply with the requirements of all regional stewardship codes.

01.6. Additional information [Optional].

          
        
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SG 01 CC. Climate risk

01.6 CC. Indicate the climate-related risks and opportunities that have been identified and factored into the investment strategies and products, within the organisation's investment time horizon.

At Schroders, we have invested heavily in developing tools to help our analysts, fund managers and clients better understand the threat climate change poses to investment portfolios. No single measure can capture the breadth of climate impacts, but combined they provide a rounded view of the challenge ahead. Our analysis of the investment implications of these impacts conclude that up to 20% of the value of global listed companies could be exposed to climate risks.

Recognising the importance of linking climate challenges to investment risks, opportunities and decisions, we have developed tools to better measure and manage the range of investment challenges and opportunities climate change represents.

Our framework focuses on business and investment impacts, starting with “what will need to change to reach a 2° target?” We then look at how those changes will be achieved, what effect those changes would have on companies’ competitiveness, how would changes in competitiveness affect companies’ values and how risks to company values would impact portfolio valuations.  We have deliberately designed our analysis to capture the impacts of likely changes as logically and fully as possible, rather than starting with the data or metrics that are most commonly used by investors. Our analysis comprises several elements:

  • The physical damage caused by rising temperatures and increasing weather volatility are unavoidable.  We have examined the costs companies would bear to insure against this
  • For policy risk, our Carbon Value at Risk model examines the implications of carbon prices rising to $100/t, the level needed to incentivise decarbonisation in line with a 2° transition, on portfolio holdings
  • To gauge the impacts of a climate transition on growth in different industries, we have developed analysis assessing the faster or slower growth each industry would experience and the valuation impacts of that increase or decrease on the value of individual companies
  • To gauge energy infrastructure risks, we have assessed the impact on the value of the reserves fossil fuel producers own but would be unable to develop if the global economy transitions toward a 2 degree pathway.

Across Schroders, we manage a wide range of funds with different strategies and time horizons.  As a result, we have designed tools suitable for a range of situations. In particular by explicitly separating measures of the impact of climate risks to investments from monitoring of the timing of those impacts, which we assess through the Climate Progress Dashboard (https://www.schroders.com/en/us/institutional/insights/climate-progress-dashboard/), the tools we have developed can be adapted to strategies with different time horizons. 

01.7 CC. Indicate whether the organisation has assessed the likelihood and impact of these climate risks?

01.8 CC. Indicate the associated timescales linked to these risks and opportunities.

Climate risks broadly fall into two categories:

First, those associated with the physical damage changing weather patterns and other physical changes pose to assets, which we quantify using the physical risk analysis described in SG 01.6 CC. Insofar as those impacts reflect rising temperatures, which in turn reflect greenhouse gas emissions in previous decades, we consider those risks very likely to continue rising over coming decades, as they have over most of the last century.  How those global risks impact individual assets is uncertain, but the scale of global risk is very likely to continue rising going forward, from current levels.  We therefore consider physical risk to be an immediate and growing threat.

Second, those associated with the disruption of a transition to a low carbon economy, which shift has begun but has much further to run.  The speed with which all of those trends play out will be heavily influenced by global political changes.  We believe the likelihood that those policy changes will occur in the next 5-10 years are rising, notwithstanding the risks inherent in forecasting political measures. Even without policy measures, some of effects of transition are already beginning to emerge.  We have examined – and make available to fund managers and analysts – three aspects of transition risk:

  1. Carbon Value at Risk: This reflects the impacts of rising carbon prices. Those prices have already more-than-tripled in Europe over the last 12-18 months and represent an immediate risk in many industries.  However, we believe those prices would need to rise to close to $100/t globally to disincentivise GHG emissions on the necessary scale, which is likely to prove a medium term risk (5+ years).
  2. Faster or slower growth: Reallocation of capital across industries and changes in demand for products will create value in some markets and destroy it in others.  We are already seeing rapid growth in a number of clean technology areas such as renewable energy and electric vehicles, reflecting fast-improving economics in those areas.  However, changes on the scale needed to meet long-term climate goals will likely prove a near-medium term risk (5+ years).
  3. Energy infrastructure risks: Sharp reductions in fossil fuel use will be needed to meet long term emissions targets and threatens producers in those markets. We believe change, on the scale needed, will prove a medium term (5+ years) risks. 

In all of these areas, we do not focus on the timeframes over which risks are likely to impact companies and assets we invest in. In practice, the outlook is uncertain and change could happen much faster or slower than we foresee and as investors, the value of our investments could change very quickly as conviction in the likelihood of those changes rises, making the investment risks much shorter horizon than the policy, behaviour or technology changes they relate to. As a result, we consider it important to prepare for those risks today, rather than to emphasise their timing.

01.9 CC. Indicate whether the organisation publicly supports the TCFD?

01.10 CC. Indicate whether there is an organisation-wide strategy in place to identify and manage material climate-related risks and opportunities.

Describe

Our assessment of climate related risks is grounded in our understanding of (i) the changes that will be required to mitigate the impacts of climate change (carbon pricing, reduced fossil fuel use etc), (ii) analysis of the impact of those changes on corporate profitability and security valuations and (iii) the likely speed and timing of action to implement those changes. The sustainability team works with investment desks across Schroders to help ensure the investment risks are identified and incorporated into investment decisions.  We firmly believe a thoughtful process grounded in understanding of performance drivers within a comprehensive investment framework is vital to effective climate risk management, rather than reliance on blunt rules or exclusions. 

We engage with a wide range of external stakeholders and experts to ensure we have identified the key changes likely to be implied by climate action and the scale of those changes.  For example, we have developed networks with academics (eg Imperial College), NGOs (eg Carbon Tracker), industry (eg IPIECA) and others to help ensure our understanding of the changes ahead is as complete as possible. 

We have develop the Climate Progress Dashboard to monitor the speed and scale of change in the key areas we identify.  That dashboard is updated quarterly and the results are published via our website.

We have developed several discrete analyses to translate those changes into investment conclusions (Carbon Value at Risk, Physical Risk, Fossil Fuel risk, Growth impacts).  We collaborate with investment teams across Schroders to ensure the results of that modelling are understood and applied to decisions where relevant. 

Our focus is on ensuring investors recognise and evaluate those risks in the investment decisions they make, rather than on excluding those risks entirely.  In many cases, that process prompts indepth discussions on individual stocks to better understand company specific risks and opportunities beyond those which can be quantified systematically (for instance leading to purchases of a nuclear utility and low carbon aluminium producer).  In some cases, we conclude that management is taking robust steps to mitigate the risks they face, or that valuations reflect those risks.  In many cases, we engage with management teams to push for more transparency or changes in strategy to address risks we feel remain.

 

1.12 CC. Indicate the documents and/or communications the organisation uses to publish TCFD disclosures.


SG 02. Publicly available RI policy or guidance documents

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

02.1. Indicate which of your investment policy documents (if any) are publicly available. Provide a URL and an attachment of the document.

Other, specify (1) description

          Conflicts of interest
        

02.2. Indicate if any of your investment policy components are publicly available. Provide URL and an attachment of the document.

02.3. Additional information [Optional].


SG 03. Conflicts of interest

03.1. Indicate if your organisation has a policy on managing potential conflicts of interest in the investment process.

03.2. Describe your policy on managing potential conflicts of interest in the investment process.

Schroders' policy regarding conflicts of interest is set out in our Environmental, Social and Governance Policy (http://www.schroders.com/en/sysglobalassets/global-assets/english/campaign/sustainability/integrity-documents/schroders-esg-policy.pdf) and in our UK Stewardship Code statement (https://www.schroders.com/en/about-us/corporate-responsibility/sustainability/uk-stewardship-code/).

We have a documented Group wide policy, covering such occasions, to which all employees are expected to adhere, on which they receive training and which is reviewed annually. There are also supplementary local policies that apply the Group policy in a local context. More specifically, conflicts or perceived conflicts of interest can arise when voting on motions at company meetings which require further guidance on how they are handled.

Schroders' Corporate Governance specialists are responsible for monitoring and identifying situations that could give rise to a conflict of interest when voting in company meetings.

Where Schroders itself has a conflict of interest with the fund, the client, or the company being voted on, we will follow the voting recommendations of a third party (which will be the supplier of our proxy voting processing and research service). Further detail on our policy can be found within our UK Stewardship Code statement.

03.3. Additional information. [Optional]


SG 04. Identifying incidents occurring within portfolios (Private)


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