During September, abrdn has been recognised by leading sustainability standard setters and investor groups for our approach to responsible investing – across the different regions in which we operate globally.
The UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is a globally recognised blueprint for responsible investing. Every year its signatories, which include us, are assessed on their ESG performance based on the PRI’s methodology and reporting structure.
In 2021, the PRI moved to a new reporting framework and online reporting tool, creating a new grading system ranging from one to five stars. The highest score is five stars and is awarded to those signatories who demonstrate leading practices in their reported modules.
In the PRI’s latest assessment report, we were rated against 19 modules – and in nine of these, we were awarded a five-star rating. For the remaining modules, we were awarded a four-star rating.
We also submitted the voluntary ‘Sustainability Outcomes’ module which consisted of 'plus' indicators that were not assessed by the PRI. The ‘plus’ indicators give signatories an opportunity to report on more advanced practices that might not be widely adopted by the industry.
We have been approved as a signatory to the UK’s Stewardship Code for the second year running by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). The Code’s purpose is to demonstrate how investment companies are ensuring that they are operating responsibly, and that they are creating long-term value for their clients and beneficiaries.
All signatories are required to produce an annual report explaining how they have applied the Code’s principles over the previous 12 months. If the FRC determines that the report meets its expectations, the organisation will be listed as a signatory to the Code.
Our assessment was based on our Stewardship Report for 2021, which sets out how our approach to stewardship is aligned with the Code’s principles.
For the second year in a row, we have also been recognised as a Responsible Investment Leader in the annual assessment by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). We were assessed against many of our global peers as demonstrating leading practices, and the recognition strengthens our reputation and standing in Australia.
The assessment was based on our performance in 2021 as assessed using RIAA’s Responsible Investment Benchmark Report Australia 2022 Scorecard.
Commenting on these recent pieces of recognition, Amanda Young, our Chief Sustainability Officer, Investments, said:
"We have supported the development of high standards in responsible investing and stewardship for many years, so I’m thrilled with this recent recognition of our credentials. It’s testament to the work of a really talented team here at abrdn.
Our ratings from the PRI, nine of which were the highest possible, are important as our clients increasingly seek to align themselves with investors who share their values. I’m pleased too that the FRC has deemed us to have met the standards for being a signatory of the Stewardship Code – also a leading global proponent in its field – which we believe will be viewed positively by our clients and colleagues alike.”
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