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Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church / Epworth Investment Management

PRI reporting framework 2020

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ESG incorporation in actively managed listed equities

Implementation processes

LEI 01. Percentage of each incorporation strategy

01.1. Indicate which ESG incorporation strategy and/or combination of strategies you apply to your actively managed listed equities; and the breakdown of your actively managed listed equities by strategy or combination of strategies.

ESG incorporation strategy (select all that apply)

Percentage of active listed equity to which the strategy is applied — you may estimate +/- 5%
100 %
Total actively managed listed equities 100%

01.2. Describe your organisation’s approach to ESG incorporation and the reasons for choosing the particular strategy/strategies.

We have created position papers and policies based upon the foundation of church teaching and this information is used to screen companies and inform engagement. A thematic approach applies to our portfolios, for example, in consideration of climate change impact and social equality. Where necessary we exclude companies that are incompatible with church teaching; whilst also fully considering ESG performance in the investment decision for the rest of the universe, powering our engagement with companies. This approach complies with the needs of both our clients and our Joint Advisory Committee on the Ethics of Investment (JACEI).

01.3. If assets are managed using a combination of ESG incorporation strategies, briefly describe how these combinations are used. [Optional]

We use an exclusion approach to screen out companies that are in breach of our ethical policies. Integration strategies come into play when ethical issues are not deemed a divestment issue, but where the ethical issues are still worthy of consideration to the investment case and may necessitate engagement. 


LEI 02. Type of ESG information used in investment decision (Private)


LEI 03. Information from engagement and/or voting used in investment decision-making

03.1. Indicate whether your organisation has a process through which information derived from ESG engagement and/or (proxy) voting activities is made available for use in investment decision-making.

03.2. Additional information. [Optional]

The whole investment team is involved in both engagement and investment decision making, so the information is always available. There are formal structures to ensure that all members of the investment team are aware of what is going on with engagements and all information is collated for and discussed at the monthly ethical meeting.


(A) Implementation: Screening

LEI 04. Types of screening applied

04.1. Indicate and describe the type of screening you apply to your internally managed active listed equities.

Type of screening

Screened by

Description

We exclude stocks for a variety of reasons, sometimes relating to the product/activity a company is involved in, sometimes (though rarely) owing to geographic exposure. 
 

Screened by

Description

In extractive industries we screen companies which have increased their exposure to renewables and have a strategy in place to address the transition to a low carbon economy, in addition to the range of ESG issues.  With respect to social practices we require companies to have best-in-class environmental, human rights, safety records and policies.

04.2. Describe how you notify clients and/or beneficiaries when changes are made to your screening criteria.

The list of exclusions is regularly reviewed by the Joint Advisory Committee on the Ethics of Investment, which meets 4 times a year and advises on exclusion criteria as well as on individual cases in whch exclusion is a possibility.  This committee comprises representatives from the CFB as well as independent members. Policies are reviewed and approved by the CFB Council and Epworth Boards, which meet 6 times a year.  Responsible investment is a major agenda item at every meeting.  

When the criteria change, clients are informed through our quarterly SRI briefing which forms part of their normal quarterly reporting.
 


LEI 05. Processes to ensure screening is based on robust analysis

05.1. Indicate which processes your organisation uses to ensure ESG screening is based on robust analysis.

05.2. Indicate the proportion of your actively managed listed equity portfolio that is subject to comprehensive ESG research as part your ESG screening strategy.

05.3. Indicate how frequently third party ESG ratings are updated for screening purposes.

05.4. Indicate how frequently you review internal research that builds your ESG screens.

05.5. Additional information. [Optional]


LEI 06. Processes to ensure fund criteria are not breached (Private)


(B) Implementation: Thematic

LEI 07. Types of sustainability thematic funds/mandates

07.1. Indicate the type of sustainability thematic funds or mandates your organisation manages.

07.2. Describe your organisation’s processes relating to sustainability themed funds. [Optional]

We consider the ESG approaches being used in sustainability themed funds, and check their consistency with our own internal ESG policies.


(C) Implementation: Integration of ESG factors

LEI 08. Review ESG issues while researching companies/sectors

08.1. Indicate the proportion of actively managed listed equity portfolios where E, S and G factors are systematically researched as part of your investment analysis.

ESG issues

Proportion impacted by analysis
Environmental

Environmental

Social

Social

Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

08.2. Additional information. [Optional]

There is a dedicated ESG section in our investment reports, with a section each for environment, social and governance factors. There are common criteria that are addressed, in addition to high impact issues specific to the sector e.g carbon emissions for electricity generation companies; water management for beverage companies etc.
 


LEI 09. Processes to ensure integration is based on robust analysis

09.1. Indicate which processes your organisation uses to ensure ESG integration is based on robust analysis.

09.2. Indicate the proportion of your actively managed listed equity portfolio that is subject to comprehensive ESG research as part your integration strategy.

09.3. Indicate how frequently third party ESG ratings that inform your ESG integration strategy are updated.

09.4. Indicate how frequently you review internal research that builds your ESG integration strategy.

09.5. Describe how ESG information is held and used by your portfolio managers.

09.6. Additional information. [Optional]


LEI 10. Aspects of analysis ESG information is integrated into (Private)


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