ESG statement

Aberdeen Standard Investments

Our purpose is to invest for a better future. We do it to make a difference to the lives of our customers, our people and our shareholders. We aim to be the best possible stewards of our clients’ assets.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) is a strategic priority for Aberdeen Standard Investments. Our ESG mission is: ‘To be an industry leader in ESG, helping to protect and enhance the value of our clients’ investments while contributing to a sustainable world.’

ESG permeates our entire investment process – and material ESG issues are considered across all our investment strategies. Our capabilities include equities, fixed-income, real estate, private equity, multi-asset and absolute return solutions.

 

Aberdeen Standard Investments is a brand of the investment businesses of Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life Investments.

 


Funds to watch

Name ISIN Domicile Description
Aberdeen Ethical World Fund GB0006833932 UK

Ethical World Fund has been running since 1996, managed by our longstanding Global Equity team. This is a negatively screened ethical fund that utilises our ‘Quality and Value’ investment process applied across many of our equity funds and applies a number of exclusionary ethical screens which exclude companies involved in tobacco, alcohol, military, weapons, gambling, adult entertainment, animal testing and/or with a poor track record of environmental, labour, practices or a negative business practices or human rights record.


Fund sheet
Standard Life Investments Global Equity Impact Fund LU1697552567 Lux

Launched in October 2017, the Global Equity Impact Fund is a high-conviction portfolio of 35-60 stocks that we believe can deliver both a financial return, and meaningful and measurable impact on society and the environment. The Fund invests in companies whose activities, technologies or products are specifically designed to provide solutions in areas such as healthcare, education, poverty and many more


Fund guide | Further info | Impact video
Standard Life Investments UK Equity Impact – Employment Opportunities Fund GB00BZC0J498 UK

We recently launched the UK Equity Impact – Employment Opportunities Fund, in collaboration with Big Issue Invest, the social investment arm of The Big Issue. The aim of the Fund is to generate a financial return over the long term by investing in companies which promote and implement good employment opportunities and practices. The impact criteria will typically include companies paying above average wage rates, being located in deprived areas, offering training opportunities and/or employing young people with the majority of those being in the UK.


Fund guide
Standard Life Investments Ethical Corporate Bond Fund GB00B0LNNK80 UK

Away from equites, we also manage the Standard Life Investments Ethical Corporate Bond Fund which is actively managed by our investment teams who may invest in a wide range of bonds in order to take advantage of opportunities they have identified and which meet our strict ethical criteria. These criteria are agreed with the Standard Life Ethical Funds Advisory Group and may be amended from time to time if considered appropriate. The fund manager will exclude companies that fail to meet the ethical criteria whilst seeking to include companies whose business activities are regarded as making a positive contribution to society.

Standard Life Investments’ European Corporate Bond SRI LU0767911984 Lux

The Standard Life Investments European Corporate Bond SRI Fund combines our strong active corporate credit performance with our expertise and long track record of integrating ESG factors in the investment process. Further, companies that fail to comply with the UN’s Global Compact, as well as those making cluster bombs and nuclear weapons, are excluded from the Fund. We also avoid businesses with poor records of performance and disclosure on sustainability issues in sectors that have high sensitivity to environmental and social factors.

ESG DDQ

Does the investment manager have a policy addressing its approach to the incorporation of ESG factors within the investment process? If there is no policy, please explain why.

Yes, ESG considerations are a standard part of our investment process. A cornerstone of this is the understanding that governance and responsible investment issues have a fundamental impact on long-term investment returns, and we leverage our investment processes to engage with companies and encourage them to change their behaviour where appropriate or necessary. The transparency and integrity of our approach enables us to provide clarity and assurance to our clients.

Please explain what steps have been taken to ensure ESG specialists have authority in the portfolio management process

We believe that understanding how ESG matters are managed at the companies in which we invest enhances our understanding of the broader management capabilities of these companies. We therefore consider financial performance and sustainable ESG practices to be complementary, and our active ESG engagement approach contributes to a greater understanding of the financial future of these companies. Our investment teams and our central ESG team work closely together and regularly co-attend company meetings  in order to form a comprehensive view of the company based on analysis from both a financial and ESG perspective. Our regional equity teams also benefit from specialist ESG analysts embedded in their team to continuously raise ESG issues round the desk and at portfolio discussions.

Please explain how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are integrated in the investment policy and decisions, if applicable

Using the universally-accepted United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we have developed a unique impact ratings system and reporting methodology for our impact funds. To make the goals more applicable to companies, our measurement framework centres on eight ‘pillars’ of impact, covering everything from sustainable energy to financial inclusion.  This allows us to assess and measure a company’s ability to affect positive change.

How do you collaborate with other investors to achieve successful engagement outcomes?

In support of our investment philosophy, we have an active ESG Investment team, as well as regional ESG equity analysts, who engage with investee companies on environmental, social and governance topics. The central ESG Investment team also routinely engage with companies on matters that are subject to a shareholder vote.

We believe that the main component of a successful engagement on stewardship is a purposeful dialogue on the oversight of strategy, performance, relations with stakeholders and the management of risk. More specifically, as part of our monitoring, our investment analysts undertake a significant number of company meetings per year across the globe allowing them ideal opportunities to monitor the performance of companies and their management. The supporting activities of the ESG Investment team include a regular engagement programme to discuss a range of relevant ESG topics including but not limited to board balance and composition, remuneration policies, audit and risk issues, human rights, the environment and labour practices.