It has become increasingly important for companies to demonstrate their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and Sustainability credentials.
We place a great deal of scrutiny on these factors when managing investments on behalf of our clients, especially for those who choose to invest into our ESG or Ethical Portfolios. This can be particularly relevant for Medical Professionals, as we find that a higher proportion of our Medical clients want to invest in this way, compared with our other clients.
However, it’s also important that we incorporate ESG principles into the way we run our own business. We would therefore like to share some key points related to Chase de Vere and to Swiss Life, which is our parent company.
Swiss Life has recently published its latest annual report. This includes their updated ‘Sustainability Report’ and a stand-alone ‘Climate Report’. These reports confirm that:
- Swiss Life supports the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and is taking various steps to contribute to their achievement.
- They aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% per full-time equivalent by the end of 2021. This includes switching over to 100% renewable electricity in all company buildings.
- Swiss Life Asset Management integrates ESG factors into the investment process for 90% of assets under management. They don’t invest in bonds issued by companies that generate more than 10% of turnover from coal power plants and have set a target of investing a total of CHF 2 billion (about £1.5 billion) in “green bonds” by 2023.
Swiss Life is a member and co-signatory of various initiatives, such as the Principles for Responsible Investment, the Principles of Sustainable Insurance and the United Nations Global Compact.
Swiss Life ESG and Sustainability ratings: (as at 28 April 2021)
- MSCI ESG Rating – Improved from BB in 2017 to AA today
- S&P Global, Corporate Sustainability Assessment – Improved from 30 in 2017 to 51 today
- CDP Climate Change score – Improved from C in 2017 to B today.
Chase de Vere
Chase de Vere is a much smaller company than Swiss Life. We have about 500 employees, compared with Swiss Life which has about 10,000. However, we still abide by the ESG principles of our parent company and we undertake a number of UK-based initiatives, including:
- Recycling facilities in our offices
- Use locally based suppliers where possible to reduce carbon footprint
- All energy contracts moved to renewable energy sources
- Use lighting sensors so energy isn’t wasted
- Transition from fluorescent tubes to LED
We are involved in many charitable initiatives. We have Charity Champions in our offices who organise fundraising and a Charity Co-ordinator with oversight of all activities. Our company-sponsored charity is Cancer Research UK.
Chase de Vere are members of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF). This Association promotes and supports responsible investments that advance sustainable economic development, enhance quality of life and safeguard the environment.
Chase de Vere, as mentioned above, also runs a suite of ESG and Ethical investment portfolios on behalf of clients. Each is managed in line with a stated risk profile and they are suitable for clients who wish to invest in line with an ESG or Ethical remit.
To ensure a company-wide focus on governance, we run a number of regulatory committees. This includes our Investment Committee, which provides challenge and oversight to all investment decisions, our Business Standards Group, which is responsible for ensuring financial advice standards are robust and our Risk Management Committee, which overseas and manages all risks across our business.
We will continue to investigate and implement ways that we can run our business in a sustainable manner, putting our clients at the forefront of everything we do while also paying due care and attention to the welfare of the environment and to society.
The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.
Content correct at the time of writing and is intended for general information only and should not be construed as advice.