The Stewardship philosophy recognises that the contribution companies make to a sustainable society depends both on the products and services they provide and on the way they provide them. Shareholders have a responsibility to address these issues actively with the companies they invest in to deliver a positive outcome for their suppliers, customers, employees and the environment.
The Stewardship funds have clear investment policies which clearly determine the types of companies that the funds can have exposure to.
Applying the investment policies of the Stewardship funds and managing the investments involves a three-layer process of exclusion, engagement and monitoring.
The funds aim to exclude companies with significant involvement in the following activities:
- Tobacco production
- Alcohol production
- Pornography or violent material
- Manufacture of military weapons or weapon systems
- Unnecessary exploitation of animals
- Nuclear power generation
- Poor environmental practices
- Human rights abuses
- Poor relations with employees, customers or suppliers.
As a shareholder, Stewardship requires its fund managers to engage with companies encouraging positive environmental, social and governance practices and to support the positive contribution companies make to a sustainable society.
As long as companies satisfy the Stewardship policies, we will engage with them to improve their business practices and to ensure that the companies we invest in operate with market leading practices.
We believe that improving the “non-financial” performance of companies is also likely to have a positive effect on their long-term financial performance. So we monitor the performance of the Stewardship funds against a number of non-financial targets to make sure that they are meeting customer expectations.
These funds are the first retail investment funds in the UK to measure the social and environmental impact of their investment policies. It’s further evidence that we are committed to leading the way on behalf of investors who care about more than simply investment returns.
The value of investments can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. This means you could get back less than you invest.
The above information is correct as of 1 October 2017.