Sustainable Stewardship

Investing with care

Investing responsibly

Launched in 1984, the Sustainable Stewardship funds have a proud heritage as the UK's first range of ethical funds. The funds are managed by our dedicated asset management company Aviva Investors.

The Sustainable Stewardship team regularly engages with businesses held in the portfolios on matters related to the environment, society in general, and governance.

Ethical standards

We exclude companies that don’t meet the ethical standards of the Sustainable Stewardship funds or are harmful to society

Positive contributions

We support companies that make a positive contribution to society

Better business practices

We encourage better business practices through shared ownership and dialogue

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you originally paid in.

How it works

Our Sustainable Stewardship funds have clear guidelines outlining the types of companies they can invest in.

The guidelines are applied using a three-layer process:

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’ investment in companies with sustainable business practices and which are contributing to a more sustainable world, is equally as important as the exclusion of harmful companies from the Funds. We believe that this reflects the changing investment landscape since the funds were launched 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 investments with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.

Negative social, ethical and environmental screens are used to exclude certain industries and companies from the Sustainable Stewardship Funds. Please see the Sustainable Stewardship philosophy document for details of the exclusions.


We engage with companies to encourage them to enact the best possible sustainability practices.

This has a number of components:

  1. Aviva Investors Annual Chair Letter – on an annual basis, Aviva Investors outlines a set of sustainability priorities that we expect companies to take into consideration. These are articulated in our annual letters to company chairs. The core elements of our expectations of our ‘People’, ‘Climate’ and ‘Earth’ Pillars outlined in the Chair letter are accompanied by Aviva Investors’ Sustainable Outcomes Programmes. 
  2. Sustainable Stewardship thematic engagement – we initiate targeted thematic programmes on specific issues to encourage companies the Funds invest in to improve practices where they fall short of our expectations or to push the boundaries of best practice in a specific area. These themes continued to be diversity and inclusion – advocating for inclusive cultures and diverse workforces – and plastics – supporting the circular economy. 
  3. Reactive engagement – we may engage in response to controversies and issues on sustainability issues. 
  4. Collaborative initiatives – we exert our collective influence with other stakeholders and encourage companies to participate in market-leading collaborative initiatives.


We monitor the performance of the Sustainable Stewardship Funds against several ‘non-financial’ targets, including carbon emissions, the percentage of companies in the Funds with a set target to reduce emissions, as well as the percentage of companies in the Funds with a diversity policy and the average % of women on the board.

How to invest

Retirement planning with Sustainable Stewardship

Whether you’re self-employed, employed, just starting to think about your pension planning needs or approaching retirement, there’s a range of plans to suit your needs.

You can choose to invest in Sustainable Stewardship funds with some of our pensions. You can view up to date information on available funds online in our Fund Centre.

If you’re a group pension scheme member and have access to Membersite, you can check your Sustainable Stewardship fund options there.

How Sustainable Stewardship works

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

Find out more by downloading the full guide.

Aviva's Sustainable Stewardship Funds

The Sustainable Stewardship Funds invest responsibly and aim to help contribute to a better future. They are managed by our dedicated fund manager Aviva Investors on behalf of Aviva.

If you would like to find out more about which funds might be available to you as part of your pension scheme, please get in contact with us. You can look up the contact number here.

  • 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

For pension customers, we have created a Stewardship lifetime investment programme. In this programme, our customers are invested in the Sustainable Stewardship Managed, Sustainable Stewardship International Equity and Sustainable Stewardship Bond Funds. We have created this programme to enable our customers to invest in funds – throughout their pension journey – whose objective is to try and make a positive contribution to the world around them.

Getting advice

A financial adviser can give you advice based on your situation, so it’s worth talking to them about your retirement or investment plans. If you don’t have an adviser, visit financial advice for more information.

Please remember the value of investments can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. This means you could get back less than you invest.