A clear approach to sustainable investing

A clear approach to sustainable investing

Against a backdrop of rapid growth in sustainability-orientated investing, we explain the clear approach underpinning our CT Sustainable Universal MAP Range.

There’s been a rapid growth in sustainability-orientated investing in recent years and the trend is expected to continue. Many factors lie behind the growth, with greater awareness of issues such as climate change and the impetus from regulatory changes being just two. The asset management industry has responded, and today’s investor enjoys a world of choice when it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) focused options.

But greater choice isn’t without potential pitfalls. Are products really all they claim? Do asset managers have the right approach, capabilities, processes, and commitments in place? The regulatory regime is shifting rapidly to keep pace, providing a robust framework to counter threats such as ‘greenwashing’. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for example, recently announced its proposal for three categories of sustainable investment products under the Sustainable Disclosure Requirements (SDR). These are currently in a period of consultation.

ESG Ratings – assessing risks not positive impact

Another area of growth has been in ESG Ratings from information and index that can be used by investment firms to account for ESG factors in their processes. There are challenges and issues to be aware of, however. There is a lack of consistency in approaches employed, little transparency around methodologies and, in some areas, ESG Ratings lack appropriate regulation. Perhaps the most important consideration is that most ESG Ratings are designed to consider a company’s exposure to ESG related risks rather than highlight or quantify those companies that are making a positive impact on social or environmental issues. They can be useful tools, but their limitations should be recognised and form just one input into a broader and more balanced approach.

Our approach – Avoid, Invest, Improve

We’re keen to ensure we are clear on the approach employed across our CT Sustainable Universal MAP Range. The funds are managed within a robust Avoid, Invest, Improve philosophy. Each holding is subject to the investment policy of the range, and the portfolios are built through close collaboration between our Responsible Investment specialists and fund managers.

Potential holdings are screened against strict ‘avoid’ criteria, which are product and conduct based. The funds, for example, won’t invest in companies involved with tobacco or weapons, or with fossil fuel reserves. Beyond the exclusions policy, the managers proactively ‘invest’ in opportunities, orientating towards companies providing sustainability solutions within themes such as resource efficiency, health and wellbeing, energy transition and responsible finance. We use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a widely used and recognised framework here – both as a guide to orientating the portfolios, but also as a structure within which we can measure their positive and negative alignment.

‘Improve’ is the third element. We recognise our responsibility and are keen to use our position as a shareholder to engage with company management teams on a range of ESG-related matters. Dialogue takes place around both issues that may present a risk, as well as encouraging companies to better manage their operations around sustainability factors. Our programme of engagement is structured around key themes including environmental stewardship, climate change, human rights, and labour standards.

Demonstrating results

As well as being clear about the approach applied within the CT Sustainable Universal MAP range, our ambition is to offer investors real insight into the portfolios’ real-world impact, the progress we are making, as well as highlighting areas in which we need to do better. Each year we produce an annual Impact Report which shows how the funds align with the SDGs, rank (versus a composite benchmark) on key impact metrics covering environmental stewardship, fairness and equality and economic development, and showcase progress we’ve made through engagement.

Simon Holmes
Director, Multi Strategy Investments
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Why Columbia Threadneedle for low-cost multi-asset

Columbia Threadneedle Universal MAP redefines value through active multi-asset solutions and business support at a passive price point. Fund OCFs at 0.29%-0.39%.

Our Portfolio

The Columbia Threadneedle Universal MAP and Sustainable MAP ranges offer risk-controlled portfolio options designed to cover a host of client growth, income and sustainability needs.

Important information

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.

For professional investors only.

This financial promotion is issued for marketing and information purposes only by Columbia Threadneedle Investments in the UK.

The Fund is a sub fund of Columbia Threadneedle (UK) ICVC III, an open ended investment company (OEIC), registered in the UK and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

English language copies of the Fund’s Prospectus, summarised investor rights, English language copies of the key investor information document (KIID) can be obtained from Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Exchange House, Primrose Street, London EC2A 2NY, telephone: Client Services on 0044 (0)20 7011 4444, email: [email protected] or electronically at www.columbiathreadneedle.com. Please read the Prospectus before taking any investment decision.

The information provided in the marketing material does not constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or otherwise transact in the Funds. The manager has the right to terminate the arrangements made for marketing.

Financial promotions are issued for marketing and information purposes; in the United Kingdom by Columbia Threadneedle Management Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority; in the EEA by Columbia Threadneedle Netherlands B.V., which is regulated by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM); and in Switzerland by Columbia Threadneedle Management (Swiss) GmbH, acting as representative office of Columbia Threadneedle Management Limited. In the Middle East: This document is distributed by Columbia Threadneedle Investments (ME) Limited, which is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).  For Distributors: This document is intended to provide distributors with information about Group products and services and is not for further distribution. For Institutional Clients: The information in this document is not intended as financial advice and is only intended for persons with appropriate investment knowledge and who meet the regulatory criteria to be classified as a Professional Client or Market Counterparties and no other Person should act upon it.

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