One question I am asked frequently by colleagues and external contacts is: “What does a good sustainable transition look like?”
The answer is relatively straightforward: a good transition is one where we meet the needs of the present without placing future generations and the planet at risk of catastrophe from the triple and interconnected threats of climate change, biodiversity loss, and rising social inequality.
How we achieve such a transition is, of course, not so straightforward. It will require absolute commitment, ingenuity, resource and collaboration between governments, regulators and other policymakers, companies, financial institutions and individuals. This is where investors have a critical part to play.
It should be taken as a given that every investor, from individuals to the largest asset owner, wants to secure the financial wellbeing of themselves and their beneficiaries. But increasingly, they also want their hard-earned capital to serve a broader purpose.
As an asset management business, we have a responsibility to deliver a dual and interrelated outcome, where we can offer clients a good return on their capital and use that to try and create a more sustainable, stable, and prosperous world.
There are three main ways in which we can do this: in the way we allocate capital; in the way we engage with the companies and governments we invest in; and in the way we engage with policymakers to address market failures. Ultimately, the health of the planet and our own - and by extension our clients’ - success depends on how well we manage the delivery.
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