Understanding the drivers, trends, tools and approaches to implement responsible investment in your organisation and investment strategy
Investments play a fundamental role in the economy. They are crucial in determining whether society - from governments to individual consumers - succeeds in following a sustainable path. The need for such a path has rapidly grown over the last decades, visible in for example the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The interest of and expectations society in the role of finance has grown rapidly. The Action Plan on Sustainable Finance of the European Union is one such development. Industry standards and initiatives have also grown rapidly as have financial organisations that have signed up to those, such as the Principles for Responsible Investment.
The Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and SDG risks and opportunities have also grown rapidly and almost every investment organisation is now at least thinking about responsible investment. The demand and need to invest responsibly is increasingly clear, from both a financial and societal perspective. The way how to do it is still unclear to many. Some call this Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) or ESG investing, SDG investing, impact investing, or sustainable investing. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The course will use the more broadly accepted term “responsible investment” which covers all of above. The market for responsible investment has grown rapidly to 31 trillion USD in 2018, a 34% increase in 2 years (by the GSIA). By the end of 2019, globally over 2300 investment organisations have signed up for the Principles for Responsible Investment, representing 80 USD of assets under management. It’s no longer a niche but is increasingly core to every investment organisation and investment professional.
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the drivers, trends, tools and approaches to implement responsible investment in your organisation and investment strategy. It will explore and discuss developments in client demand, current and future regulations and regulatory developments with a focus on Europe, developments in supply of ESG/SDG/RI/sustainable labelled products, and practical tools and approaches for portfolio managers, risk managers and trustees/advisors to implement responsible investment.
The main objective of the course is to enable its participants to develop or support a comprehensive approach in responsible investing, how to adapt the organisation to integrally implement this and how to implement this in the various asset classes, internal and external management, and in fiduciary advice. It will go into detail of various tools and instruments to implement responsible investment such as ESG integration (embedding financially material ESG issues, such as climate risks, in investment decisions, asset allocation or portfolio construction), exclusions (e.g. tobacco products), divestments (e.g. carbon footprint reductions), thematic investing, impact investments or SDG investing (e.g. in renewable energy or green bonds), stewardship (such as engagement, voting and shareholder litigation aiming to influence portfolio companies or market standards). It will also discuss a wide array of ESG and SDG issues, such as climate change, water, human right, labour conditions, health, corporate governance etc.
Participants will engage in case studies to gain an understanding of such developments and practical ways to implement responsible investment in their organisations and investment strategies/portfolios.