IN FOCUS6-8 min read

Schroders Sustainability Scorecard: how sustainable is your business?

At Schroders, we are committed to providing financial advisers with ongoing support and education on sustainability to assist with your client conversations. Our ‘Sustainability Scorecard’ is the latest addition to our sustainable adviser toolkit.



Gillian Hepburn
Head of UK Intermediary Solutions

At its simplest, the Sustainability Scorecard comprises 20 quick multiple choice questions about the sustainability credentials of an adviser business. The questions cover all three factors - Environmental, Social and Governance (E, S and G). The scorecard may encourage review in some areas within the business where advisers can implement changes which can often be quite simple.

Complete the Sustainability Scorecard survey

Why launch the scorecard?

There were three key reasons why we felt that this might be a useful tool:

Education: Schroders already offer ‘face to face’ training for advisers through our local business development team. Following a successful pilot, we are also about to offer an online training package. However, we believed that there might be an opportunity to offer some form of differentiated education, which encouraged discussion and potentially added value to an adviser business.

The scorecard is a simplified illustration of some of the ways we think about the environmental, social and governance factors related to the companies we invest in. At Schroders, we use a range of proprietary tools to understand the sustainability characteristics of our investments. This includes SustainEx which helps quantify the positive and negative externalities a company or country creates for society and the risks and opportunities they may face as a result. Our tools are built around a stakeholder approach: we believe that companies which consider the needs of all their stakeholders, will be better off in the long term. Advisers who are thinking about the sustainability risks and opportunities they face, are arguably more likely to succeed in the long term.

Making it real: At Schroders, we have been integrating ESG into our investment decisions for many years. This scorecard ‘brings to life’ how these considerations could be applied to an adviser business, but in a simplified way.

Engagement: We have used the scorecard at live events where delegates were able to see how they compare to other businesses. The scorecard can also be used at ‘one to one’ sessions with business owners or in team meetings, encouraging debate and perhaps some change!

What areas does the scorecard focus on?

The scorecard has questions on Environmental, Social and Governance policies. For example, the Environmental questions focus on use of renewable energy providers, recycling and carbon offsets. Social questions address areas such as flexible working, the gender pay gap and diversity and inclusion policies.

Finally, Governance related areas look at advice processes and client sustainability preferences, training on sustainability and adoption of online client communication.

What are the benefits to advisers of using the scorecard?

Advisers have found it a really interesting exercise to work through. Some have already made simple changes such as further reducing plastic, considering the installation of charging points in their car park and how can they carbon offset.

However, many have also discussed with us how having a business based on sustainable principles can help to:

Attract and retain talent: According to a recent survey, the main group of jobseekers who take a stance of sustainability are aged 23-38. 50% would consider quitting their job to work for a more eco-friendly organisation[1]. Many of the organisations surveyed also reported that focusing on a greener future can attract top talent. Moreover, the pandemic has also shifted the priorities of job seekers who are looking for flexible working opportunities and a healthy work-life balance.

Improve brand reputation: An article in the Guardian[2] took recruitment a stage further indicating that ‘More people than ever want to work for, invest in and buy from companies with strong green credentials.’

Walk the talk: If advisers are discussing sustainable investments with clients, then it’s important to have high sustainability credentials in place. As one adviser said ‘I can’t talk about sustainability with plastic water bottles in the meeting rooms’.

Review business practices: Sustainability is not just about the environment which is why the scorecard touches on some operational areas such as online adoption for client communication. Operational efficiency through the use of technology has been accelerated in many ways by the pandemic but much of this also improves commercial sustainability.

Increase revenue and business valuation: According to HSBC, a third of businesses surveyed reported that ‘A sense of social responsibility will be one of the defining characteristics of successful businesses going forward…86% said that improving their sustainability focus will likely increase revenue over the next year.’[3]For many advisers looking for a succession plan and potential exit strategy, revenue and assets under management are important for valuations but we believe that good sustainability criteria can also contribute to this.

How else can the scorecard help?

Education: If delivered by the Schroders team, the scorecard forms part of a broader session where we can educate on areas such as carbon offsets, renewable energy and the path to net zero.

Benchmarking: Scorecard responses are being collated anonymously which will enable benchmarking so advisers can compare themselves against others and identify where they are on their sustainability journey. Advisers completing the survey can contact us for the latest benchmarking data.

Further support for advisers: The scorecard has also helped us to identify where we can deliver further support. For example, 17% of advisers needed help in asking clients about sustainability preferences. We are now considering how Schroders can help advisers in these areas which the survey highlighted.

Supporting the Felix Project

The more data we collect from advisers then the more robust the benchmarking exercise will be. Moreover, for every scorecard completed, we will make a donation to The Felix Project, one of our charity partners. The Felix Project uses surplus food from supermarkets and restaurants to help feed vulnerable people in their local communities.

Click here to take part.

[1] ‘Sustainabiity: the winning factor in recruitment’, Andrew Richardson

[2] Recruiters.the ‘Going green: Why every recruiter should read this article’

[3] Recruiters.the ‘Going green: Why every recruiter should read this article’

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our sustainable toolkit, please email, contact your usual Schroders’ representative or call our Business Development Desk on 0207 658 3894.


Gillian Hepburn
Head of UK Intermediary Solutions


Investment Solutions
Follow us

Please remember that the value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested

This marketing material is for professional clients or advisers only. This site is not suitable for retail clients.

Issued by Schroder Unit Trusts Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. Registered Number 4191730 England.

Schroder Unit Trusts Limited is an authorised corporate director, authorised unit trust manager and an ISA plan manager, and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

On 17 September 2018 our remaining dual priced funds converted to single pricing and a list of the funds affected can be found in our Changes to Funds. To view historic dual prices from the launch date to 14 September 2018 click on Historic prices.