Helping our customers align their pension with companies working to create positive outcomes for the future
Launched in 1984, the Stewardship Funds have a proud heritage as the UK’s first social and environmentally screened fund range. The Stewardship Funds have been managed by our dedicated asset manager, Aviva Investors, since 2018.
The Stewardship Investment approach has three guiding sustainability principles:
1. Avoid companies that do not meet certain ethical standards, or that harm society or the environment.
2. Support companies that make a positive contribution through investment.
3. Encourage leading business practices.
Covering equities and bonds, customers can access UK equities via the Stewardship UK Equity Fund and the Stewardship UK Equity Income Fund. The Stewardship International Equity Fund provides exposure to international equities and the Stewardship Bond Fund to fixed income. The Stewardship Managed Fund is a multi-asset fund that mainly invests in equities with an allocation to fixed income.
In July 2019, we took the Stewardship story a step further and launched the Stewardship lifestyle default, with the aim of enabling our customers to invest in the Stewardship Funds throughout their retirement journey. We believe that this default, which incorporates responsible investment at each stage of the retirement journey, is the first of its kind. We want our customers to be confident that regardless of where they are in the retirement journey - at the very beginning or near the end – their money is helping to make a positive difference and helping to create a more sustainable future. Read more about Stewardship and the Aviva Investors' ESG and Sustainable Outcomes team below.
A dedicated and well resourced award-winning ESG team
A dedicated team of more than 30 ESG and sustainable outcome analysts play a critical role in how Aviva Investors uses its influence, research and experience to promote the long-term sustainability of markets.
The Sustainable Outcomes team provides in-depth research and support to the Stewardship funds. This consists of the Sustainable Outcomes team who cover the three core pillars of the stewardship approach (earth, climate and people) and the ESG team, who are responsible for ESG risk in process and engagement. Working collaboratively, both teams are able to leverage their expertise to promote responsible investment practices and robust sustainable outcomes within our portfolio decisions.
In its Point of No Returns 2023 report, ShareAction ranked Aviva Investors 3rd out of 77 asset managers globally for its approach to responsible investment.
This demonstrates Aviva Investors' expertise in the ESG space and how the asset manager uses its voice as a shareholder to encourage positive change for the environment, the climate and society. The fund manager was one of only three asset managers out of 77 to receive an ‘A’ rating for its approach to responsible investment.
Working with businesses and other stakeholders to create positive change
As well as using our voice as a shareholder to vote for change at company meetings, we also engage with businesses themselves. We engage with companies to encourage them to enact the best possible sustainability practices. When engaging, we will expect to see a clear timeline for progress and outcomes. As outlined in our letter to shareholders for 2023, our key Stewardship priorities for 2023 will be the cost of living crisis, transitioning to a low carbon economy and reversing nature loss. We are not afraid to hold companies to account.
We will also work with other stakeholders, including governments, other asset managers and charities to create much-needed change.
An example would be our role in November 2022 at COP15 (Conference of the Parties) and the UN's Biodiversity Conference. Nature is crucial to the Sustainable Development Goals. At COP15, governments and financial institutions, including ourselves, worked together to agree a new set of goals for nations and businesses to halt nature loss by 2030, and to help ensure financial flows are aligned with nature to drive finance towards sustainable investments and away from potentially harmful ones.
Read more about how we have engaged with businesses in the Stewardship annual report below.
A long history of responsible investment at Aviva
The Stewardship team
Sustainable Outcomes team
The Sustainable outcomes team provides research and insight to help inform our investment decision making
Stewardship Investment team