Stewardship investing

Investing in a better tomorrow

You can plan for your future with funds that can help make a positive difference to the world.

What are Sustainable Stewardship Funds?

Investing in funds is a bit like sowing seeds into different soils. This is where the Sustainable Stewardship Funds can step in to help ensure those soils are not just nurturing your portfolio, but also helping to contribute to a sustainable long-term future for the world around us.

Friends Provident launched the Sustainable Stewardship Funds in 1984, then in 2018 they were taken under management by Aviva Investors. These funds were the first ethical funds of their kind in the UK in 1984.

The funds are well placed to benefit from the asset manager's environmental, social and governance (ESG) resources, which include a dedicated team of more than 50 sustainable investment analysts. They work alongside the fund managers responsible for the Sustainable Stewardship Funds.

There's five Sustainable Stewardship Funds, covering international company shares, UK company shares and bonds.

The Sustainable Stewardship Funds are also aligned with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. We explain more about this below. 

  • High standards

    The Sustainable Stewardship funds exclude companies that don’t meet their ethical standards or do things that harm our society, like tobacco companies. Please see the Sustainable Stewardship Philosophy below for details of exclusions from the Funds and the criteria.

  • Positive contributions

    We support companies that make a positive positive impact to society in areas like sustainable energy.

  • Championing better business practices

    We push for better business practices by working together with businesses and stakeholders such as governments, other financial companies and non-profit organisations (NGOs), having open conversations and helping to create organisations like the International Platform for Climate Finance (IPCF). The aim of the IPCF is to increase the amount of capital invested in sustainable investments.

Remember the value of your investments can always go down as well as up, so there’s a chance you’ll get back less than what you originally paid in.

The Sustainable Stewardship Philosophy

Our Sustainable Stewardship funds have clear guidelines about which companies they can invest in.

We explain three components of the process below:

Exclusion and investment

The philosophy behind the Sustainable Stewardship Funds has always been, and remains, to guide capital allocation responsibly, and therefore to exclude or to include companies in the Funds based on what they do and how they do it.

The guiding sustainability principles of the Sustainable Stewardship Funds are to:

  • Avoid companies that do not meet certain ethical standards, or that harm society or the environment. 
  • Support companies that make a positive contribution through investment.
  • Encourage leading business practices. 

Alignment of the Funds with the United Nations (UN’s) Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also referred to as the SDGs, are used as the framework by the investment team to select companies for the Sustainable Stewardship Funds. We believe that this helps to demonstrate that the funds invest in businesses that are helping to contribute to a sustainable future. We believe that this reflects the changing investment landscape since the launch of the Sustainable Stewardship Funds in 1984.

Read more about the UN’s SDGs here.

The funds’ investment objectives also include an explicit sustainability objective, that is the Funds aim to align their investments with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.

We also apply exclusion screens to the Sustainable Stewardship Funds. The screens enable us to exclude businesses and industries from the Funds that aren't aligned with the Sustainable Stewardship Philosophy. You can explore the details of this criteria in the Sustainable Stewardship Philosophy document.


We work closely with companies to help them improve their sustainable business practices.

Here’s how we do it:

  1. Aviva Investors' annual chair letter – Every year, Aviva Investors writes a letter to company chairs. Where they talk about the sustainability priorities that we expect companies to take onboard such as the cost of living crisis and climate change. 
  2. Exploring Sustainable Stewardship themes – We create themed programmes that help companies improve when they're not meeting our expectations or encourage them to become leaders in specific areas. Right now, we're diving into two important topics with businesses – diversity and inclusion in the workplace and helping businesses to eradicate single-use plastic.
  3. Uniting for positive change – we team up with other stakeholders and encourage them to take part in market-leading collaborative initiatives, such as the 30% club which aims for greater female representation on company boards, to help create change.


We keep an eye on how well the Sustainable Stewardship Funds are doing against non-financial targets such as their carbon intensity and the % of businesses in the Funds with a plan to reduce their carbon emissions. We also monitor the alignment of the Funds with the UN's SDGs.

The Sustainable Stewardship Philosophy and investment policies

Discover the philosophy behind the Sustainable Stewardship range of funds, how the funds are managed and how you can invest, by downloading the full guide.

Your choice of Sustainable Stewardship Funds

Below we show the full list of Sustainable Stewardship Funds available to invest in.

  • Sustainable Stewardship UK Equity
  • Sustainable Stewardship UK Equity Income
  • Sustainable Stewardship Managed
  • Sustainable Stewardship International Equity
  • Sustainable Stewardship Bond
  • MyM Sustainable Stewardship UK Equity
  • MyM Sustainable Stewardship UK Equity Income
  • MyM Sustainable Stewardship Managed
  • MyM Sustainable Stewardship International Equity
  • MyM Sustainable Stewardship Bond
  • Sustainable Stewardship UK Equity S6
  • Sustainable Stewardship UK Equity Income S6
  • Sustainable Stewardship Managed S6
  • Sustainable Stewardship International Equity S6
  • Sustainable Stewardship Bond S6

Stewardship Default Investment Programme

For pension customers who don't want to choose their own funds, we've created the Stewardship default investment programme. In this programme, customer money will be invested in the Sustainable Stewardship Managed, Sustainable Stewardship International Equity, and Sustainable Stewardship Bond Funds. We created this investment programme in 2019 to enable our customers to invest in the Sustainable Stewardship Funds throughout their journey to retirement.

If you have a pension with Aviva and would like to find out more about which funds might be available, have a chat with us.

Take the next step with Sustainable Stewardship

You can choose to invest in Sustainable Stewardship Funds with some of our pensions. You can view the latest information on available funds in our Fund Centre.

If you’re a group pension scheme member you can check your Sustainable Stewardship Fund options there.

Getting advice from a financial expert tailored to your unique situation is a smart move.

A financial adviser can give you tailored advice based on your situation, so it’s worth talking to them about your retirement or investment goals. If you don’t have an adviser, you can arrange an appointment here.

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