The concept of Sustainable and Responsible Investment (SRI) has been a key theme for us over the last 3 months.
On Thursday 4th April we hosted an evening event, in central Brussels, with the support of NN Investment Partners and M&G Asset Management. Dr Martin Porter of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainable Leadership moderated the evening. Dr Porter has been a Europe Group Co-ordinator for the European Climate Foundation in Brussels since 2011.
The concept that sustainable and responsible investment is “less complicated than you think, better performing than you believe and more important than we can imagine” was the basis of the event. Dr Porter began the evening by setting the scene from a policy perspective. He also explained how regulators and business were addressing the issues in this area.
Hendrik-Jan Boer, Head of the Sustainable and Impact Investing team at NN Investment partners in The Netherlands looked at the ‘pathway’ of sustainable investment. He considered how we got to where we are now and how the choice of investments can be made, from:
‘Green’ investing where much of the focus concerns organic and ‘Fairtrade’ issues, through to the
‘Blue’ economy where technology is making a difference in energy production and increasing cell efficiency through to the
‘Red’ recycling thematic
John William Olsen, Equity Manager at M&G, with responsibility for the M&G Positive Impact fund, highlighted the companies making a ‘positive impact’. He outlined M&G’s use of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which they have broken down and rearranged to help identify sectors of investment interest:
Subsequently he outlined M&G’s defining criteria for investment selection:
He also explained the company’s scoring system for assets based on Investment, Intention & Impact.
John William shared examples in the portfolio he is responsible for, underlining the opportunities using green energy and recycling.
Following the presentations Dr Porter moderated a lively Q&A with all parties then enjoying refreshments. Sustainable and responsible investment is an interesting yet complex area and we were delighted to host an event which shared current thinking and approaches in this area.
We plan to hold more educational and informative events over the coming months. If you would like to register to keep informed about our Events Programme please email firstname.lastname@example.org