As investors, we have the opportunity to influence what companies do and how they do it.
We will only invest in companies in which we see the potential for engagement to help the company create positive impact towards one or more of the SDGs. In assessing opportunities, we look at a company’s entire supply chain, including its relationships with and influence over its supply partners. We consider the company’s direct operations, including its resource efficiency and its approach to its workforce. We also examine its products and services – do they have the potential to reach under-served markets or to develop product offerings supportive of a more circular economy?
Through our engagement, we hope to encourage new initiatives, create new relationships, accelerate progress and raise ambitions, with a view to improving both the business’ long-term success and its contribution to SDG attainment.
While we shall cajole where necessary, we want to give management the confidence to be bold and ambitious by supporting companies in implementing new approaches. We execute a customised engagement plan for each portfolio company, which consists of general and specific objectives. The topics we engage on with every company include eliminating discrimination among employees and fair pay (which address the gender equality, no poverty and reduced inequalities SDGs).
However, for example, in an engagement with a food retailer, we would also challenge it on a range of company-specific practices, such as the nutritional value and prices of the goods it sells, and the sustainability of the producers in its supply chain (which relate to the SDGs of good health and well-being, responsible production and consumption, life below water and life on land).