Global equity markets endured a volatile year amid uncertainty around interest rates, inflation, Covid-19 developments and energy shortages. Growth stocks, which had led the market in 2020, saw several periods of weakness on the back of concerns about higher interest rates. Value stocks, meanwhile, and companies expected to benefit from a post-pandemic reopening generally outperformed during the period.
All of the fund’s holdings fit into one or more of nine themes aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the report we delve into each of our nine impact investment themes, offering updates relevant to the companies in our portfolio, and outline the purchase of several new holdings.
Other highlights include:
- Case studies: We provide three case studies that showcase the work we have done with portfolio companies over the last year.
- Impact and performance metrics: We provide data highlighting the impact companies within our portfolio have delivered over the course of 2021, as per our proprietary Federated Hermes Impact Database. We also compare the performance of our portfolio relative to the MSCI All Country World index.
- Engagement update: We describe our progress in this area and highlight the letter we wrote to every company in our portfolio in September 2021 to request that boards start, or accelerate, the development of sustainability targets for integration into compensation plans.