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Sustainable Investment Report 2021: "this is no time to rest on our laurels"

In a foreword to our annual Sustainable Investment Report, Peter Harrison - Schroders Group Chief Executive - explains how sustainability is part of everything we do.

07/04/2022
Sustainable-Investment-Report-2021

Authors

Sustainable Investment Team

A message from Schroders' Group Chief Executive Peter Harrison:

Sustainability is part of everything we do and in 2021 we continued to make real progress on a number of fronts.

I am particularly proud that Schroders is the largest asset manager to have its plans validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. This puts us on a 1.5°C emissions reduction pathway and helps us reach net zero across our value chain by 2050, or sooner.

But this is certainly no time to rest on our laurels. As I write this in March 2022, the war in Ukraine is raging following Russia's invasion. First and foremost, the war is having devastating consequences for millions of people there. But it's also had a dramatic effect on sustainability.

On the environmental front it has sped up the clean energy revolution as it has exposed our reliance on fossil fuels, particularly in Russia. Not only is the energy transition imperative from a climate change point of view, but also because we can not be reliant on despots to keep our lights on.

But sustainability is about more than climate change, and the societal impact of the Ukraine crisis is even more profound.

It's now widely recognised and accepted that companies need to be held to account about how they do business and their social impact. Lending credence or support to a regime willing to invade a sovereign nation is not acceptable and we are engaging constantly with any companies we own that have operations in Russia. We firmly believe active engagement is the best way to ensure companies do the right thing.

With this in mind, we have just launched our Engagement Blueprint, which identifies the thematic areas where we have chosen to focus our active ownership efforts in 2022. These areas relate to sustainability factors that we see are material for the long-term value of our clients' assets and the Blueprint sets out the long-term outcomes we want to see from companies. It is forward-looking in nature and will serve as a compass for our intended direction of travel. 

More importantly, such is our belief in active engagement, it is now enshrined into the annual performance objectives of our fund managers and analysts as a must. 

Sustainable Investment Report 2021 (found here):

Introduction

A message from our Group Chief Executive

A message from our Global Head of Sustainable Investment

Hear from our regional Heads of Sustainability

2021 sustainability milestones

Sustainability in practice

Integration 2.0 – raising the bar

Profit is only half the story

Schroders’ climate commitments

Active ownership

Ambitions for active ownership

The full spectrum of active ownership

Our approach to engagement

Our approach to voting

Collaborative engagement

Industry involvement and public policy

Sustainability insights

Assessing our impact on nature

Why ESG investing should underperform… but won’t

Appendix

Compliance with UN PRI

Companies engaged during 2021

The report can be found here.

Authors

Sustainable Investment Team

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