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Marking UN Day

As a leader in sustainability and investment, on UN Day we’re supporting companies’ efforts to build back better from the pandemic and create a positive societal and environmental impact.

This year the coronavirus pandemic unleashed an unprecedented crisis: it revealed the vulnerability of global systems to protect the environment, health and economy and reversed progress towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)1. It is against this backdrop that we will mark UN Day on 24 October, celebrating 75 years since the United Nations came into existence and 20 years of the UN Global Compact.

While the world continues to tackle this unprecedented health, economic and social crisis, the UN Global Compact is calling on business leaders to unite to support workers, communities and companies affected by the pandemic. Asset managers also have an important role to play: by integrating sustainability into their investment decisions and engaging companies, they can understand corporate responses to the pandemic.

At the international business of Federated Hermes, we have always been at the vanguard of integrating sustainability into investment strategies: we embed ESG analysis and stewardship into our investment decisions – and this matters even more in times of crisis. We also launched the world’s first equity and bond strategies driven by engagement on the SDGs2.

Towards a sustainable future

The pandemic has magnified a number of sustainability challenges, such as the climate crisis, decent work, water stewardship and sustainable finance. We have an opportunity to confront and find solutions to these challenges to help create a more resilient and sustainable future for all.

In June, we established our bespoke climate hub where we challenged our equities, engagement, real-estate and fixed-income specialists on the topic of the climate crisis – and how we, as investors, can adapt to the new climate normal. Explore the hub here.

The coronavirus has shown us that to tackle a global crisis, governments and companies need to come together. This type of collaboration – but on a much larger scale – will also be crucial if we are to tackle the climate emergency.

Saker Nusseibeh, CBE, CEO, International

Uniting Business

Today, we focus on four other sustainability challenges identified by the UN Global Compact as part of its Uniting Business appeal – and demonstrate how some of our investments and engagements are aligned to these themes.  

The coronavirus crisis has disproportionately affected women and the UN has highlighted how the pandemic could reverse progress on gender equality. To find out how we are engaging with companies for greater equality, read our report on the Japanese labour market.

Companies have a duty to their employees that goes beyond remuneration. Here we explain how our SDG Engagement Equity team is engaging Brunswick on SDG 8 – and how the company has responded to the pandemic.

Providing socially inclusive, purpose-driven financing is an emerging imperative for banks. Our SDG Engagement High Yield Credit team is engaging with Barclays to generate positive outcomes for both society and investors.

Companies can combat the pandemic by developing innovative hygiene and sanitation systems. In our Impact Report, we explain how Ecolab helps deliver clean water and safe food to its customers through its cleaning and sanitation products and analytics capabilities.

Sustainability insights from Covid-19

Here we bring together the latest insights from our experts and thought leadership on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on sustainability.

The coronavirus and the race for a vaccine
With the coronavirus pandemic set to continue without an effective and widely-available vaccine, all eyes are on the pharmaceutical sector.
Giving credit to decarbonisation (part 1)
Climate change and infectious diseases
The coronavirus crisis: hitting the reset button
Life beyond lockdown: how the coronavirus will accelerate existing global trends
The Goldilocks crisis: why we must use Covid-19 to wake-up to climate change
Stewardship during and after the pandemic
Risk profile
  • Nothing in this document constitutes a solicitation or offer to any person to buy or sell any related securities or financial instruments.
  • Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results and targets are not guaranteed.
  1. 1“UN report finds COVID-19 is reversing decades of progress on poverty, healthcare and education,” published by the UN in July 2020.
  2. 2“UBS, Federated Investors, Inc. and Hermes Investment Management Launch Innovative Fixed Income Impact Funds,” published by UBS in September 2019.