We believe Boston Trust Walden's general approach to ESG incorporation--a fully integrated and systematic component of our process to identify high quality investment opportunities--is a differentiator in ESG/RI investing. We also believe our collaborative research process, in which traditional analysts and ESG analysts work side-by-side, provides a seamless and unusually effective foundation for ESG professionals to pursue shareholder engagement upon investment in a company.
Moreover, we believe Boston Trust Walden's record demonstrates our commitment to industry leadership in effective ESG engagement (see our Annual ESG Impact Report 2019: https://www.bostontrustwalden.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2019-ESG-Impact-Report_Digital-PDF.pdf). We note that our reporting on the reach and impact of our shareholder engagement efforts is also innovative and, we believe, best practice. We have observed other RI managers begin to report similarly.
Boston Trust Walden seeks to stay on the leading edge with respect to emerging industry issues and trends. Below are a few illustrative examples:
- We have been publicly reporting carbon footprint analyses for many years, and in 2018 transitioned to a more comprehensive report aligned with TCFD guidance. We believe we are among the first investment managers to do so.
- We were the first U.S. based investor signatory to the Stockholm Declaration in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which we believe represent an important tool in global efforts to end poverty, reduce inequality, protect the natural environment, and pursue peace and stability. We disclose both the reach and impact of our shareholder engagement efforts to advance the SDGs. In 2019, our engagement work touched on topics related to at least 12 of the 17 goals.
- We are an active member of the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC). In 2019, we contributed to GISC’s recently released Reducing Poverty through Employment Toolkit that provides a strategic roadmap and practical set of tools and resources for companies committed to reducing global poverty through inclusive employment practices.
- We remain committed to ESG integration across all Boston Trust Walden investment strategies. Our Manager of ESG Integration developed a database, the "ESG Risk Register," that specifically identifies potentially material ESG risks and opportunities for portfolio companies and those reviewed for potential inclusion, enabling systematic review and analysis of the types of risks analysts are identifying across sectors, market cap, etc.
Finally, we note our investment philosophy requires a long-term horizon. In contrast to investment managers with shorter timeframes, this enables us to engage portfolio companies over many years, frequently earning the trust of corporate leaders and resulting in enduring collaborative relationships. We believe these sustained efforts, along with our decades-long record in responsible investment, have helped foster transformative improvement in company ESG practices and performance.