Sustainable Investment Report - Q2 2015

In this quarter's Sustainable Investment Report we demonstrate active ownership, investigate the impact of "financial inclusion" on companies and consider how ‘green’ green bonds really are.

20 July 2015

Sustainable Investment Team

Active ownership

As active owners, we believe voting is a catalyst for positive change at companies that can also help create value for shareholders and society.

Throughout the second-quarter of 2015 we voted on approximately 91% of all our holdings – a total of 3,325 company meetings covering a range of corporate governance issues.

Shareholder resolutions this quarter have increasingly focused on environmental issues – we’ve seen more climate change related resolutions than ever before.

Notably, the resolution submitted to BP, Shell and Statoil was a real success with more than 98% support from shareholders and backed by management.

You can find more information by downloading our Responsible Investment Q2 2015 infographic.

Financial inclusion

On a global basis there are about 2.5 billion people (about half of the working age population) who are currently excluded from the formal financial system; financial inclusion seeks to redress some of that balance.

Financial inclusion is about “providing access to an adequate range of safe, convenient and affordable financial services to disadvantaged and other vulnerable groups”.

We take a look at the risks and opportunities financial inclusion presents to companies.

Green bonds primer

Green bonds have seen exponential growth in 2014, with €22.7 billion issued according to the banking group ING, more than double the level of 2013.

Standard & Poor’s estimates that corporate bond issuance could reach $30 billion in 2015.

As the market grows, so does the need for “green standards”. The development of “Green Bond Principles” should give confidence to investors as to the integrity of a green bond and the use of its proceeds.

View the full Q2 2015 Responsible Investment infographic.

Download the full Q2 Responsible Investment Report below.

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