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Tackling the climate crisis

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time and we are at a defining moment. As we navigate through the coronavirus and its impacts, we have an opportunity to shape the post-pandemic world so that confronting the climate emergency is an undisputed global priority.

A better world can emerge from the coronavirus – one that builds back better from the pandemic in a way that confronts and finds solutions for the climate crisis. 

The coronavirus has shown us that to tackle a global crisis, governments and companies need to come together for the public good. Indeed, we have seen how crucial it is to innovate to find new solutions. For example, two of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical firms are working in partnership to develop and deliver a vaccine at an unprecedented scale and pace. This type of collaboration – but on a much larger scale – will also be crucial if we are to tackle the climate emergency in the decade ahead.

I recently published my vision for responsible investing in the post-coronavirus era (see Prosperity and preservation: the aim of active ownership). Asset managers have such an important role to play: by engaging with companies, they can understand and challenge businesses’ operational and strategic responses to climate change, such as setting science-based carbon-reduction targets and shifting to renewable energy sources. In addition, they can advocate policies driving the transition to a low-carbon economy.

At the international business of Federated Hermes, our teams place stewardship, high-active-share investing and a truly long-term perspective at the heart of what we do. We integrate climate change considerations into our investment decision-making, encourage meaningful actions by our investments through our active engagements, thereby seeking strong performance and beneficial outcomes for society and the environment for years to come.

Beyond our investments in and engagements with companies exposed to climate risks, our Responsibility Office engages with public policymakers and regulators on the topic of the climate crisis to promote positive change. Through our membership of the Green Finance Institute, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and the UK Sustainable Investment Forum, we ensure that the targets and tools investment managers need to fully play their part in delivering the net-zero-carbon transition are available.

As we look to the future, we can help shape the future of sustainable investing – and tackling the climate crisis will be key. 

Saker Nusseibeh,

CBE, CEO – International at Federated Hermes

Climate conversations

Pausing the world to fight the coronavirus pandemic has reduced carbon emissions temporarily – but true climate success requires more action. In four special climate-focused podcasts, Aoifinn Devitt, Head of Investment – Ireland, and Andrew Jackson, Head of Fixed Income, challenge 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. Don’t miss these insightful discussions, tune in to Amplified.

Guests: Will Pomroy, Lead Engager – SDG Engagement and Small & Mid Cap Equities, and Ingrid Kukuljan, Head of Impact Investing.

Guests: Louise Dudley, Portfolio Manager, Global Equities, Gary Greenberg, Head of Global Emerging Markets, and Kunjal Gala, Co-Portfolio Manager, Global Emerging Markets. 

Guests: Nachu Chockalingam, Senior Credit Portfolio Manager, and Aaron Hay, Lead Engager – Fixed Income.

Guests: Sharon Brown, Head of Risk and Responsible Property Management Implementation, and Vincent Nobel, Head of Asset Based Lending. 

Or listen here:     

Watch our webinar replay:

When crises collide: will coronavirus recovery plans accelerate climate action?

The coronavirus crisis has exposed how vulnerable our existing systems are and made it clear that we need to find ways to make them more resilient. 

On 9 July, Eoin Murray, Head of Investment, was joined by Ingrid Holmes, Head of Policy and Advocacy, Bruce Duguid, Head of Stewardship, and Ben Sanderson, Executive Director – Fund Management, for an insightful discussion about the coronavirus and climate crises. 

Knowledge hub

Our knowledge hub brings together the latest insights from our experts and thought leadership on the topic of the climate crisis. 

Gemologist: can we adapt to the new climate normal?
Climate change will test our ability to avoid mortal danger more than ever before. Humanity’s ability to adapt, something we have excelled at, must again come to the fore.
The Goldilocks crisis: why we must use Covid-19 to wake-up to climate change
Climate change and infectious diseases
Balancing the carbon equation: how we are investing for a better climate
Responsibility Report 2020
ESG matters – now more than ever

Investing for a better climate

Climate action: our role as a responsible firm 

As an active investor, we believe we have an important role to play in engaging companies to encourage responsible business practices. As a result, we frequently engage companies on the transition to a net-zero-carbon economy and other climate-related issues. It follows then that we are keenly aware of the need to act as a responsible firm ourselves – and take the necessary climate action.

In 2010, we achieved the ISO 14001 in recognition of our efforts to manage our own operations as environmentally efficiently as we can. We maintained this standard when we moved offices in 2018. We also measure and offset our own operational carbon emissions by working with Trees for Cities – a UK charity working at national and international scale to improve lives by planting trees in cities. For every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions that we generated from our day-to-day operations and our business travel during 2018, verified carbon offsets of 824 tonnes of CO2 have been generated in 2019 by planting 2,200 trees.

In addition, we cut our annual energy consumption from 584,491 kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2018 to 452,443 kWh in 2019 and reduced our paper usage from nine tonnes to eight tonnes over the same period. We also decreased our waste from 297,048 tonnes in 2018 to 146,166 tonnes in 2019.

To find out more about our responsible business practices, read our 2020 Responsibility Report.