Ethical Partners was excited to be recently announced as one of the 92 new asset managers to join the Net Zero Asset Manager Initiative - which brings the initiatives total membership to 220 signatories with more than $USD 57 trillion in total assets. We were also honoured to speak on a Principles for Responsible Investment & Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) webinar for Australia and New Zealand investors about the Net Zero Asset Manager Initiative last month, to explain why we felt it was important to be involved.
Ethical Partners was pleased to share how we believe that not only are the goals of this initiative directly in line with our own Net Zero goals, but that this important initiative provides us with:
- a logical, practical framework and clear pathway/guidance towards achieving Net Zero goals that aligned with our internal thinking
- a well-respected mechanism for being externally accountable for our internal goals
- a forum for collaboration, learning and support alongside others passionate about working towards these goals
- the support of a larger weight of capital, which we believe can add value to our direct engagements with companies and amplify our wider advocacy efforts
- a credible way to symbolize our commitment to partnering with our clients to achieve our shared goals
- a common format for partnership with our asset owner clients who have joined the parallel Net Zero Asset Owner Initiative
- a frame of reference, confidence and support around our own internal Net Zero goals
Ethical Partners Funds Management looks forward to being transparent and accountable for our progress towards our targets through this initiative, as well as engaging and collaborating with our fellow investors, as we all work towards urgent and real climate action.
Ethical Partners was also honoured to be one of the 733 investors, managing over USD $52 trillion in assets, who are calling on governments across the world to step up on climate policy at COP26. As one of the signatories of the recently released #2021GIS Global Investor Statement to Governments on the Climate Crisis, Ethical Partners are urging the Australian government that, as we "stand at the beginning of a pivotal decade", we must significantly strengthen our NCD's for 2030 and ensure a clear, transparent plan to transition to Net Zero by 2050.
This statement further recognises that failing to change course immediately and meet this challenge will mean that our world may heat more than 3 degrees this century, with unforeseen consequences for people and the planet. We also strongly agree that countries who fail to address this challenge will rapidly "find themselves at a competitive disadvantage", and will become increasingly less attractive investment destinations.
Additionally, as investors, Ethical Partner firmly believes that we need good government policy to help us to meet our fiduciary duties of decreasing our exposure to climate risk and capturing the opportunities of a transitioning economy for our clients - and in order to meet our own net zero portfolio goals. At Ethical Partners, we absolutely believe that investors have a clear responsibility here- but our support of this statement reflects our understanding that we need to do this hand in hand with ambitious domestic government action - including clearly defined interim targets and pathways, strong policy action, robust and fair just transition plans, mandatory company risk disclosures, the removal of fossil fuel subsidies, and the facilitation of investment in zero-emissions energy. As such, Ethical Partners also believe that policy advocacy such as this collaborative communication with government is another clear responsibility for us as investors.
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Sustainability Analyst, Georgina Murray, recently received a scholarship to study an Oxford University SAID Business School Impact Investing Program. In this article Georgie discusses the course and how we continue to evolve our focus on the impact of our investments.
As investors, our view is that the Bill is not sufficiently robust to ensure adequate protection for sites of significant Aboriginal heritage, or prevent another occurrence like the Juukan Gorge tragedy.
During November 2021 the Fund returned -1.47% versus the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index of -0.53%, underperforming the market by -0.94%. An underweight position in Consumer Discretionary and Energy added to relative performance while and underweight position in companies involved in iron ore extraction detracted from relative performance.