ESG Approach

Ethical and sustainable investing is evolving to not just consider the minority of companies that are either
the best or worst at ESG but to understand which companies are best placed to improve their sustainability.

While avoiding unsuitable companies and finding good investment opportunities in the leaders is our priority, our unique insights and company engagement also uncovers which companies have the capability to become future ESG leaders. Our investment experience facilitates the identification of the best opportunities as this transition takes shape.

Our proprietary Ethical Partners Opportunity and Risk Assessment (EPORA) considers such issues as where a company does business, what products or services they sell, their human rights policies and their environmental impact. These are key considerations for us in addition to our strict assessment of a company’s balance sheet, cash flow and our assessment of company management. This analysis is conducted in-house via the use of over 600 different and diverse data sources. The Ethical Partners Australian Share Fund has also adopted a Net Zero Emissions by 2050 target. We will transition the Fund via the Ethical Partners Carbon Alignment Process (EPCAP).

The EPORA is our screening and assessment process that results in the portfolio excluding companies unsuitable for an ethical portfolio, identifying companies that are leaders in ESG and indicates what changes can be made at the vast majority of other companies to improve ESG practices.

Once this analysis is complete, the crucial process of engagement with board, management and sustainability teams of companies begins, in which Ethical Partners actively leverages our shareholder voice to advocate for change. We have engaged with over 500 companies on over 300 ESG issues in the past year, and believe that this is integral to both our process and our ability to call for change in corporate Australia. We also collaborate and advocate for change in the wider legislative, NGO and shareholder community, as well as through shareholder voting. 

Through this dynamic process of active management and stewardship of the capital we are privileged to manage, we believe that there is huge potential for positive change. Our approach to ESG can be summarised as: 

-  Avoiding the worst ESG performers

 - Supporting the leaders (where valuation andthe financial case is appropriate) 

 - Advocating for large scale change and impact in the rest - the other 80% of the ASX market cap. 

This information is intended for wholesale and institutional investors only.


  • The Investor Group on Climate Change Policy and Advocacy Working Group and the Transition to Zero Carbon Working Group.
  • The Net Zero Asset Manager Initiative.
  • Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change.
  • Investor Alliance for Human Rights
  • Investor Statement on Corporate Accountability for Digital Rights
  • TCFD Supporter
  • Action Pledge to end Child Labour
  • Investor Statement in Support of the maintenance and expansion of the Bangladesh Accord
  • Signatory to the Investor Statement of solidarity to address systemic racism and call to action
  • Joined the Signatory to the 40:40 Vision for achieving gender balance in executive leadership
  • Signatory to the Investor Agenda accelerating action for a net-zero emissions economy
  • Signatory to the Access to Nutrition Initiative
  • Signatory to the Investor Statement on Coronavirus Response
  • Joined the PRI Corporate Tax Responsibility collaboration
  • Joined the PRI Preventing PFAS pollution by removing forever chemicals from food packaging collaboration
  • Joined the PRI the need for biodiversity impact metrics collaboration
  • Signatory to the Joint Investor Statement on Disability Inclusion
  • Signatory to Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking Asia-Pacific (IAST APAC)
  • Signatory to the Access to Nutrition Initiative
  • Signatory to the Investor Statement calling on companies to improve performance in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark
  • PRI collaboration on investing with SDG Outcomes
  • PRI collaboration group on Preventing PFAS Pollution by removing forever chemicals from food packaging
  • PRI collaboration group on Corporate Tax Responsibility
  • PRI Plastics Working Group
  • Signatory to the “Open Letter to Social Media Companies on the one year anniversary of the Christchurch Terror Attacks” and the Collaboration for Engagement with Social Media Companies
  • PRI Investor Statement on Living Income and Wages and joined the Collaboration on Living Wage and Income
  • Signatory  to the Investor Case for Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence Statement
  • Joined the SDG2 Advocacy Hub
  • Signatory to the Investor Statement calling on improved performance on corporate Human Rights benchmark
  • Signatory to the “Know the Chain Investor Statement” – Investor expectations on addressing forced labour in global supply chains
  • PRI Collaboration Group on investor guidance on Integrating Children’s Rights into Investment Decision Making
  • PRI Collaboration Group on collaborative engagement on Access to Medicine and SDG3
  • Signatory  to the Statement of Investor Commitment to Support a Just Transition on Climate Change
  • Investor Expectations on Climate Change for Airlines and Aerospace Companies – Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI)
  • Investor Statement in Support of Human Rights – Responsible Investment Association Australasia
  • Global Investor Statement on Farm Animal Welfare – Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare

Country Risk

Where in the world a company does business is important to us. We use the Transparency International Corruptions Perceptions Index to help us assess overall country risk. High risk countries have higher incidences of bribery, corruption, lax governance, a poor regulatory environment and a high risk of human rights and environmental abuses.

Human Rights


Governance and management

EPASF has lower carbon emissions than the market

In June 2021, the Ethical Partners Australian Share Fund (EPASF) set a Net Zero 2050 target. It also has an interim target of a 50% decrease in CO2 emissions by 2030 (from a baseline of June 2021). Ethical Partners utilises the EPCAP (Ethical Partners Carbon Alignment Process) to assist in its alignment with progress against these targets. The graphs below demonstrate the key metrics that are being tracked.

The line graphs below illustrate how both the Weighted Total Emissions and Weighted Average Carbon Intensity (WACI) for the Fund have decreased since setting the target in June 2021. The Fund is tracking well ahead of the targeted decrease. The column charts below compare the ASX300 against the Fund, illustrating how the WACI for the fund is considerably lower than the market and that the Fund holds more companies that are aligned to net zero than the market.

Core in-house expertise

ESG is a core in-house competency

Detailed bottom up stock knowledge combined with a top down understanding of broader trends

We use over 600 different diverse sources

Includes commercial sustainability providers, and domestic and international government, non-government and academic sources

We also liaise and utilise data from not-for-profits, community groups, environmental and human rights activists, consultants and ethical investment bodies.

Ethical Partners has supported 100% of climate and human rights resolutions this financial year

The Responsible Investment Policy recognises that Ethical Partners Funds has an integral commitment to investing in a responsible, ethical and sustainable manner.

View our Policy

The Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018 requires entities based, or operating, in Australia which have an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million, to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and actions to address those risks. Other entities, based or operating in Australia may report voluntarily. We believe that if investors are demanding transparency, accountability, disclosure and attention to Modern Slavery within their operations, that we as investors must also be transparent and accountable as to how we address modern slavery ourselves.

VIEW Modern Slavery Report - 2020/2021VIEW Modern Slavery Report - 2019/2020
ESG approach
Investment principles
Country Risk
Human rights
Governance and management
Sustainable Development Goals
EPASF has lower carbon emissions than the market
Core in-house expertise
ESG Policies & voting record