Most investors would agree that Responsible Investing involves analyzing companies based on nonfinancial information, including environmental, social, and governance factors, and Calvert does as well. Yet Calvert approaches Responsible Investing differently from many firms that offer Responsible Investing and ESG-informed strategies as a subset of their offerings. For us, Responsible Investing is a stewardship-based approach that entails 1) making fully informed investment decisions, 2) actively participating in the global capitalist system, and 3) investing for Positive Change. Calvert aims to drive Positive Change in their clients' portfolios, in the companies they research and analyze, and in the global communities in which those companies operate. The aim of Calvert’s approach is to seek to deliver competitive market returns while de-risking the portfolio from an ESG perspective.
Calvert’s bedrock belief is that investment performance is inextricably linked to responsible corporate behavior. Long-term, competitive investment results flow from companies that provide a net benefit to society. Therefore, they focus on finding companies that demonstrate leadership and create positive impact in society through their business operations and overall activities, while producing competitive investment returns. Calvert conducts extensive research to identify these companies. Calvert’s ESG research is designed to identify and measure financially material ESG risk exposures, using the Calvert Principles for Responsible Investment as a framework. To rate and rank companies on their management of material ESG issues, ESG research analysts create a model within the Calvert Research System, a proprietary platform. While ESG analysis is a critical aspect in valuing companies, not all ESG factors are equal for every company. The key is to identify those metrics that are most materially linked to company performance. ESG research analysts assess material risk to a company's projected financial performance, which Calvert believes is critical to effective application of traditional company valuation methods. Calvert also uses their research on companies to create sound business cases for changes at the company level, which drive Calvert's individual company dialogues as part of its corporate engagement program.
Calvert's proxy voting guidelines, available on their website, outline Calvert’s approach to voting on critical issues facing corporations including many governance considerations. Proper governance is foundational to corporate success; some governance structures by their very nature weaken accountability, while others are better suited to create accountability of management to the board and the board to shareholders. Calvert's proxy voting guidelines support governance structures and policies that keep the focus of company management on long-term corporate health and sustainable financial, social and environmental performance. Calvert also believes in the importance of disclosure and transparency and, as such, all votes are posted to their website within 72 hours of being cast and, in almost all cases, in advance of the meeting so Calvert’s clients and the general public can easily see how Calvert voted.
Parametric's entire approach to responsible investing is designed with universal, long-term asset owners in mind. With this in mind, Parametric focuses their energies primarily on active ownership, while still offering completely flexible ESG incorporation, tailored to each investor.
Atlanta Capital's Growth Equity Team manages the High Quality Calvert Equity strategy in partnership with Calvert Research and Management. The investment process contains two integral components: 1) a rigorous analysis of each company's fundamentals and valuation and 2) an evaluation of all material Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors that influence a company's business results - moving beyond negative, values-based screen.
Atlanta Capital believes the differentiator is a result of the process and people. Financial aspects or portfolio manager bias, or influence, cannot affect the ESG analysis, nor the other way around. Candidates may be excluded for financial reasons or ESG reasons are therefore not considered. Additionally, Atlanta Capital values the vast coverage of Calvert's research. With over 5000 securities analyzed, the full universe is covered across market caps, sectors and styles. Moreover, it is not an ad-hoc review, Atlanta Capital knows not only the ESG profile of a company but also its rating and rank among peers.
The ability to combine analysis from investment professionals with analysts that have industry, science, regulatory and investing experience enables a deeper look into opportunities and risks. The portfolio managers do not have to acquire deep and specific knowledge, rather they can collaborate with the analysts and discuss industries as a whole.
The combined research process produces a ESG portfolio of companies that seek above average earnings stability, dominant franchises, pricing power, and/or high barriers to entry. Through Atlanta Capital's High Quality discipline, the team seeks to outperform over a full market cycle by participating in rising markets and providing downside protection in declining markets.
Eaton Vance Management
ESG considerations are made across the EVM suite of investment solutions. EVM believes that certain ESG key performance indicators (KPIs) are financially material to long-term corporate performance and security valuations. Through their affiliation with Calvert, EVM portfolio managers and fundamental analysts have access to leading proprietary ESG research conducted by Calvert's ESG analysts and collaborate with Calvert's ESG team regularly. This information is incorporated into the fundamental research process to inform alpha-seeking investment decisions.
EVM has also incorporated ESG issues in the voting guidelines of their Proxy Voting Policy. Their main basis of analysis when exercising their voting rights is the maximization of returns for their clients, and in so doing EVM requires that companies submit to the regulations in force in the countries and jurisdictions where they do business, that their conduct be socially responsible, and that they submit to high standards of governance and ethics.