Welcome to our third annual impact report for the SDG Engagement Global Equity Strategy.
Time has flown since we launched the Strategy just over three years ago, but since then, the headwinds to the common aspiration of a brighter, more sustainable future for all, have only grown stronger. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine and growing Sino-US tensions, the global geopolitical landscape feels as dangerous as at any time since the end of the Second World War. The host of environmental and social challenges that were already present prior to the pandemic, have all grown in scale and are now being exacerbated by recent global events.
It is precisely at such a time that we continue to see the merit in remaining resolutely optimistic, being part of a growing ‘coalition of the willing’ in believing that the power of active capital can be harnessed to progress a more sustainable future, and that the SDGs can be used by investors as a roadmap to a better future, by investing in, and engaging with, a highly differentiated selection of global small-mid cap companies. By targeting small and medium-sized companies, we believe it is possible to precipitate or accelerate impact through our dialogue and targeted engagement agenda.
Our Strategy is intent on showing that we can align our investment decisions with our investors’ values and deliver both positive non-financial outcomes as well as attractive financial returns; ultimately, we want our money to drive improvement in the world around us. Three years into our mission, we continue to push forward to explore how investments in listed equities can generate real world impact – and in this new report we outline our approach to impact and have attempted to refine our disclosure to provide meaningful impact metrics throughout. We also reflect on the key learnings from three years of running our Strategy.
In this year’s report we also provide our latest thinking around our climate commitment, and how we assess net zero alignment, with much more granular information about how all of our investee companies align to the Net Zero Investment Framework. Needless to say, climate action is a central engagement objective for our Strategy in the year ahead, alongside other critical areas like biodiversity, circular economy, labour standards and diversity and inclusion.
In our effort to promote an agenda of reporting transparency with our investors, we have tried to present a relevant and select line-up of content, with the alignment with SDG goals and targets, thematic overviews, company case studies, milestone examples and an overview since Strategy launch in March 2019, and impact metrics. We also show the full details of our engagement progress profiles for every investee company through company tables, including how our activities link to the relevant underlying SDG indicators.
It is increasingly clear that we are living through a period of accelerating, often unsettling, change. But against this persistent uncertainty, it continues to be our privilege to explore how we can mobilise capital towards securing a more sustainable future, using the SDGs as a framework. This motivates us every single day. We thank you for your immense trust in us, and we will keep reporting on the progress that our Strategy and its investee companies are making.