Standard Life Investments

Investing with responsibility - a wake-up call

Can we protect and enhance the value of clients’ investments, while contributing to a sustainable world?

20 October 2016

Investing with responsibility - a wake-up call

What keeps you awake at night? For many of us, money probably features quite high on the list of things keeping us from sleep. For others, it might be the state of our planet and the kind of world we are handing down to the next generation. Climate change, poverty, access to clean water, education and human rights, are all pressing global issues that might be keeping us tossing and turning in bed.

Today, more than ever before, it is possible to address these issues through the types of investments we make. Previously, this type of investment ethos was largely restricted to a small number of ethical funds, and there was the perception that you might need to sacrifice decent investment performance in order to reflect your values. But now, ethical funds are just one part of a rapidly growing 'good money' sector that includes impact investing, green funds and responsible investing.

Memories of the global financial crisis, and the more recent VW emissions and BHS pension scandals, have highlighted the importance of good governance and reinforced the business case for investing in companies that take corporate responsibility seriously.

At Standard Life Investments, we have long understood the intrinsic connection between financial performance and how a company approaches issues such as their impact on the environment and their contribution to society. To us, how a company takes care of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors has always made good business sense. Generally, those companies that are well governed in these areas tend to perform better than those that are not, and thus provide better returns to shareholders. That's why we are committed to raising investors' awareness of these important issues and leading the conversation on ESG.

We are committed to protecting and enhancing the value of our clients' investments, while contributing to a sustainable world, and the principles of responsible investing are embedded across everything we do. We have a dedicated and highly-experienced ESG Investment team that actively engages with the companies in which we invest and that carries out in-depth research and analysis on the material ESG issues affecting our clients' investments. Leading by example, our aim is to promote best practice across the corporate sector and hold companies accountable for their actions.

It is important to us that investors know their options, understand how they can reflect their beliefs and values in their investment choices, and that they don't sleepwalk into their investments. There are more options than ever for investors to take control of where they invest their money and use it to promote positive change. The first step is choosing an asset manager that takes its responsibilities as an investor seriously, and can demonstrate the value it can add, financially and socially.

Knowing that your money is being invested wisely and conscientiously should, hopefully, help you sleep that little bit better.

Standard Life Investments is lead sponsor of Good Money Week 2016. Find out more at www.standardlifeinvestments/goodmoneyweek