We are part of a wide range of organisations and initiatives, through which we engage with others both within and beyond the investment industry to promote responsible investment. We have engaged extensively with policy makers and regulators to intervene to address environmental, social and other market failures that may prevent the financial system operating in the best holistic interests of its ultimate asset owners.
In addition to integrating ESG factors into our investment decisions and our engagement processes we undertake substantive advocacy work and thought leadership.
We regularly release thought leadership papers on how and why the industry can and should move beyond a BAU approach to ESG integrated investment, sharing data and insights to help build capacity in industry debate. For example, we produced a paper setting out our view on how investment management can become a potent force in building a better world through active stewardship of the businesses it owns in our 2020 vision for Stewardship.
We have an active advocacy programme that draws on expertise from across the firm – and with a full-time head of policy and advocacy leading this work. We aim to respond constructively to but also lead the debate on how the industry must (i) play a more active role in delivering a sustainable economy and (ii) do better by its end investors. We respond to consultations but also engage in activities in which we aim to lead a more progressive debate. Examples are:
- We co-signed a letter to Prime Minister Teresa May asking for a 2050 net zero carbon target, which the UK has now adopted as a policy, with cross party support
- In 2018 and 2019, we actively and positively engaged with the Financial Reporting Council, both bilaterally and in public meetings convened by various groups, including the Investment Association, PWC and Future of the Corporation, around the key tests we believe the updated Stewardship Code needed to pass. We were pleased with the ambitious Stewardship Code published by the FRC.
- Through our membership of the Green Finance Institute, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate, UKSIF and in particular our chairing of the Disclosures Working Group of the PRA-FCA Climate Financial Risk Forum, we have pushed for policy makers to take on a more significant role in promoting sustainable wealth creating and ensuring that the targets and tools investment managers need to fully play their part in delivering the net-zero carbon transition are available.
- We co-sponsored the development of the British Standards Institute’s Sustainable Finance Standardization Programme. The first set of guidelines - PAS 7340:2020 Framework for embedding the principles of sustainable finance in financial services organizations – was published in January 2020. A further, PAS 7341, Responsible and sustainable investment management – Specification, is nearing finalisation.