Building a sustainable future - improved performance and winning thinking08 December 2020
Measurement is crucial to ensuring that our approach to building a sustainable future for people and planet remains effective. Our progress, in our operations and our investments, has been recognised recently through industry awards and in important measures of corporate sustainability.
Improved performance in sustainability indicesWe’ve recently been listed as leaders within our industry for corporate responsibility and sustainability by the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) review and the MSCI ESG Ratings index. These indices score us based on what are the most important environmental, social, governance (ESG) and sustainability issues for our sector and rank us compared to our peers.
We’re recognised as a member of the DJSI review for the 10th consecutive year. The assessment lists us in the 98th percentile of companies in our sector, up from 97th percentile for 2019. MSCI has awarded us an AA score – an improvement from our A score in 2019. The output of these reviews is used by investors in our company stock to assess us and understand how sustainable we are. They also help us to identify areas we should focus on.
A thought leader in ESGOur thought leadership on addressing ESG in our investment approach, particularly climate change, was recognised at Investment Week’s Sustainable & ESG Investment Awards. We won the prize for Best Thought Leadership Paper for ‘Strategic Asset Allocation: ESG's New Frontier’.
Focused on climate change, the paper discusses how an ESG-enhanced process for ‘strategic asset allocation’ could increase the amount of capital available to finance socially and environmentally important projects, without compromising investment returns. Strategic asset allocation focuses on forming views of the long-term returns available from different asset classes, and then building portfolios with the best expected risk-adjusted returns. The content of this paper has informed the approach our own investments business is taking in this area.
Recognising our positive impact on societyWe were a finalist in two categories at the Better Society Awards. The awards recognise commercial companies who are helping create a better, more equal, ethical and sustainable world for all.
We were a finalist for the Environment Award, reflecting our company’s achievements in setting long-term targets, reducing our emissions and going carbon neutral. We were also shortlisted for Pro Bono Company of the Year in recognition of the ways in which we support employees to support charities, such as the volunteering and mentoring opportunities we offer.
The winner of the Good Money Award category was KickStart Money, a UK financial education initiative run by the charity MyBnk. We’re a lead supporter of KickStart Money, which has seen us join together with some of Britain’s leading savings and investment firms to advance financial education in schools.