Agenda - Day 1
- Getting us to net zero: The role of pensions
- Taking climate and sustainability obligations seriously
- Role of green gilts
- What we are doing to drive forward change and mobilise investment
- What transformational steps are being taken to catalyse and commit to the systemic change needed to meet net zero transition goals?
- What are the challenges of getting to net zero? How are you managing engagement and risk of stranded assets?
- How are you performing and meeting on D&I targets?
- What demands and questions are being put on you by clients and how are you responding"
Understand how investment impacts biodiversity and the actions needed to make an active contribution to safeguard the world's natural resources.
- Examining the inflows, assets and ESG funds available to institutional and retail investors
- Highlighting new thematic trends and fund types
- Understanding the impact of regulation on funds
- Exploring the Net Zero Asset Managers commitment to accelerate the transition towards global net zero emissions and ensure a just transition
Stream 1: Fund Selectors
Most people will be familiar with the phrase, often echoed when an unexpected event causes chaos or disruption to the world in which the live. At these times, it is often seen to be proactive and positive to respond.
What exactly that response should be is open for debate and when the unexpected happens, it is rarely perceived to be wise or acceptable to be inactive.
However, in this session RLAM’s Head of Sustainable Investments, Mike Fox will warn against short-term ‘knee jerk’ reactions and argue it more prudent to observe and analyse before acting; to make well considered decisions over longer-term horizons.
Biodiversity has gone very quickly from being a niche topic to a principal sustainable finance challenge. But what does it actually mean for investors and asset managers? What are the challenges? What role can they play in restoring nature? And what action is needed now? What financial opportunities arise from natural capital and how can investment in the preservation of biodiversity be unlocked? Can nature-based investing be established as an asset class in its own right? How can financial institutions effectively measure and mitigate this risk?
The recent issuance of green gilts by the UK government has seen investors pour in. Why is this happening now, how has the greenium performed since issuance, how are managers using them in portfolios, and what due diligence should fund selectors undertake to assess these assets?
Stream 2: Financial Advisers
- What is driving client interest in sustainable investing
- Client levels of intent and barriers preventing broader uptake
- Thematic trends and opportunities to meet consumer demand
- What do clients want to know and understand?
If you’re recommending sustainable portfolios to your clients, you should probably be practicing what you preach. Gillian Hepburn – Head of UK Intermediary Solutions at Schroder Investment Solutions will walk you through the Schroders ‘Sustainability Scorecard’ to help you see how sustainable your firm really is, and steps you can take to improve it.
Stream 3: Pension Professionals
Understanding your ESG responsibilities
As many schemes move to decarbonise their portfolios and have increasingly regulatory pressure to report on the impact their portfolio is having, private markets solutions can play an important role, providing not only diversified long-term returns but also a positive environmental and social impact.
In our session, we discuss how a diversified portfolio across private markets asset classes and sectors focused on climate and social themes can help facilitate the transition to a more sustainable future. We explore climate change investing, how a portfolio can be accessible to all institutional investors including DC schemes and how to measure impact.
With trillions of pounds of assets under management, pension schemes have the power to make a significant impact on the climate emergency. This impact is often best exercised through stewardship, but how can asset owners ensure they are exercising their power to create genuine ‘real world’ change? And how can they be sure that words are being translated into action? This session will bring together panellists to discuss the role of stewardship, what good looks like, and the actions that pension scheme asset owners can take to be better stewards.
EM corporates have, on average, lower ESG ratings and are less open to a constructive dialogue with their investors on sustainability than their developed market peers. That is no reason to give up on these companies. In fact, it could be a good reason to invest more efforts in engaging with them as we can make a real difference. Many innovative solutions providers are headquartered in EM, and we see exciting opportunities for impact investors in listed equities.
Lunch Roundtable: Earnings at risk - what climate change means for equity returns
Climate oriented investing is all about investing with an impact. A climate oriented allocation aims to support global efforts to put a curb on carbon emission. But what about risk? Companies with a heavy carbon footprint are likely to suffer from carbon price elevation, which is expected to take place in the next decades. In this presentation, Vincent Denoiseux, Head of ETF Research & Solutions, Lyxor ETF, Amundi Group, will demonstrate how, with the help of state of the art carbon price models, an allocation to Paris Aligned Benchmarks can significantly improve the long term risk profile of equity portfolios.
Stream 1: Fund Selectors
The positive performance correlation of gender diversity on corporate boards is arguably the most widely researched metric and compelling proof point in the responsible investing industry. As a new generation of diversity metrics becomes available, does the hypothesis that more diverse companies tend to show real performance differences still hold? Investors regularly advocate with companies for better performance on a range of strategic and operational diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) factors based on the belief that DEI underpins a more innovative corporate culture that maximizes talent retention and productivity. What are some of the ways in which DEI both supports and challenges culture? Is DEI actually a proxy for some other less measurable factor? And what are the emerging disclosure norms that could facilitate more accurate portfolio allocations with a focus on DEI?
Demand for sustainable investment solutions is increasing year on year and specifically, demand for climate solutions has never been higher. Daniel Bowie-MacDonald, Investment Specialist at abrdn, will discuss how and why you may want to invest in climate solutions companies and why a multi-asset approach may be a compelling option for a range of different investor types.
By 2050 the world will need to produce 70% more food and drinking water, whilst producing less carbon and using 70% fewer resources. The current global food and water system is grossly unsustainable, and if left unchecked will use the world’s entire carbon budget in the next 30 years.
Regulation, consumer behaviour, and new technology are changing fast, and are now starting to impact the long overdue change that is required to make the whole system less carbon intensive, wasteful and polluting, whilst improving biodiversity and encouraging healthier diets globally.
It is estimated that this change will require around $30trillion of capital reallocation by 2050, creating significant opportunities for investors in the wide array of companies and subsectors within the global food and water system.
Stream 2: Financial Advisers
• What resources do you need to have in place to develop ESG capacity?
• What are the data considerations and needs?
• Demonstrating credentials and building narrative with clients?
• What worked and what needs to happen next?
How is reporting to clients being approached and achieved? Overcoming the challenges of matching and reporting against the client's priorities and preferences.
- What role does the investment industry play in improving LGBT+ human rights?
- How do investors consider diversity and inclusion factors when making investment decisions?
- How are professional investors considering, and rating, companies to ensure they are diverse and inclusive of people and ideas?
- What factors are holding professional investors back and what steps can be taken to overcome these gaps?
Stream 3: Pensions Professionals
How a £2bn+ scheme has approached this? Where did they get it right and what lessons have been learnt for one of the fastest-growing companies in the retirement savings marketplace?
Exploring how new technologies are driving engagement and a data driven approach to ESG is vital for investment stewardship and analysis.
Biodiversity loss needs urgently to be addressed and may pose a threat to humanity even bigger than climate change. The international community increasingly acknowledges this inconvenient truth, however, mitigation plans are in an early stage. How can institutional investors contribute today? Options for action from a practical perspective.
Impact Investing: beyond ESG Impact investing is one of the least understood but fastest-growing options across the sustainable investing spectrum. It offers an exciting opportunity to help address some of the world’s major social and environmental challenges while also offering the potential for attractive financial returns.
Impact approaches are currently seeing strong momentum across the market. We believe they deserve particular consideration from pension funds as they can both increase members’ engagement and benefit from the great intergenerational wealth transfer ahead. But, given the rapid growth in sustainable investing and the lack of common market standards, many investors are understandably concerned about ‘greenwashing’. In this session, we put the spotlight on impact investing, aiming to give you the key principles that can help you to navigate the impact investing universe and find authentic approaches that deliver on your needs.
Questions we will answer include:
- How do we define impact investing and where can you find impact investment opportunities?
- What about financial returns? How do you evaluate the positive and the negative effects of each investment considered?
- How exactly do you measure impact and demonstrate progress – and any alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
- Which asset class is better suited to impact investing: equities or bonds?
- How can you sift out the greenwashers?
As well as considering financial capital and natural and environmental capital, long term investors also need to consider human capital and social capital. The likes of COVID and Gen Z have brought factors like the ‘great resignation’ and desire to work for destination employers, and the consideration of customer preferences increasingly to the fore.
Disruption is spreading. So far, the technological revolution brought about by vast increases in computing power has impacted just a select few industries. But that is changing as innovation speeds up and spreads out. No industry is safe, and this represents a significant broadening of the opportunity set for investors. Three industries look imminently ripe for disruption, these are the drivers of the sustainable trends that are redefining ESG: Energy, Software and Genomics.
Far too many investors are missing these opportunities because they are overly focussed on downside, risk and avoiding controversy. Sustainable investing should be treated as a world of opportunities. Indeed, those with a sustainability mindset are experiencing a similar broadening of their opportunity set, as companies increasingly recognise that success is predicated on balancing the needs of all stakeholders and earning a social licence to operate.
So let’s get back to the true purpose of sustainable investing - directing capital towards those firms that are helping the world to thrive, either through the products and services they provide or the leadership they show in their business practices. Join us as we cut through the acronyms and jargon that pervade responsible investing to learn how a thoughtful but pragmatic approach can identify the companies that have the potential to solve some of the greatest problems faced by society today. It has never been a better time to be focussed on sustainable growth.
The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), have warned that from next Spring, organisations are going to have to report and act on nature-related risks their businesses might pose. It is essential that companies conduct their due-diligence before being forced to disclose and risk upsetting customers, investors and staff. This talk takes you through the changes, what these means and how best to prepare.