Columbia Threadneedle: Investing to improve, engaging for impact

Impact Investing

Discover the latest impact report for the CT SDG Engagement Global Equity Strategy – covering engagement, multi-year progress, and updates on key Strategy themes.

15.11.2023 | 08:34 Uhr

Back in 2015, United Nations Member States set a target date of 2030 to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to transform our world, which means we have already reached the halfway point in the implementation of the SDG agenda.

Though collective efforts are currently falling short of achieving the ambitious agenda, there is little doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic and other recent global crises have provided immense worldwide challenges to sustainable development cooperation.

Challenges for investors

The recent upsurge of inflation led to correspondingly strong action from policymakers, with the US Federal Reserve engaging in one of the fastest interest rate hiking cycles ever. This also inspired investors to search for more balance along the growth to value spectrum. Supply chains were disrupted, traditional Energy outperformed, and Technology moved through a severe valuation correction, to subsequent recovery in early 2023, as cost cutting and artificial intelligence broke into sight. And in March 2023, SVB Financial mismanaged its duration risk as rates soared, and it consequently collapsed, at the heart of the first global digital bank run.

And yet, despite all of this uncertainty, we still firmly believe that the SDGs remain our best collective global sustainable development roadmap.

Investing to improve, engaging for impact

The CT SDG Engagement Global Equity Strategy is intent on showing that we can align our investment decisions with 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, and to engage with companies for impact. Four years since inception, we are gaining greater experience in how collaborative shareholder engagement can generate real-world impact – and we are pleased to share the latest annual report of the Strategy with you.

Takeaways from our fourth year

  1. It is vital to have top company leadership aligned with sustainability, including through defined positions (e.g. Chief Sustainability Officer), as operating and investor relations teams are more stretched than ever
  2. Despite many companies advancing past initial ESG reporting – now being focused on sustainability target setting – it can be challenging to understand which metrics to choose, set, and report (standardisation is needed)
  3. Feedback from investee companies matters, to identify and work through sustainability bottlenecks.

What’s in this report?

As we request of our investee companies, we too aim to continue advancing reporting transparency. In this report, we showcase our engagement across the Strategy, key voting statistics, Milestones, multi-year progress via portfolio-level metrics and individual company case studies, and an update on our social themes and net zero pathway. We also show the results of our latest investee company feedback survey.

Our thoughts on the future

We are living through a period of accelerating and often unsettling change, but remain determined to mobilise capital towards a more sustainable future, using the SDGs as a framework. We thank you for your trust in us, and we will keep reporting on the progress that our Strategy and its investee companies are making.


Risk Disclaimer

© 2023 Columbia Threadneedle Investments. Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.

Important Information: For use by professional clients and/or equivalent investor types in your jurisdiction (not to be used with or passed on to retail clients).

This document is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered representative of any particular investment. This should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments, or to provide investment advice or services. Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal. Your capital is at risk. Market risk may affect a single issuer, sector of the economy, industry or the market as a whole. The value of investments is not guaranteed, and therefore an investor may not get back the amount invested. International investing involves certain risks and volatility due to potential political, economic or currency fluctuations and different financial and accounting standards. The securities included herein are for illustrative purposes only, subject to change and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell. Securities discussed may or may not prove profitable. The views expressed are as of the date given, may change as market or other conditions change and may differ from views expressed by other Columbia Threadneedle Investments (Columbia Threadneedle) associates or affiliates. Actual investments or investment decisions made by Columbia Threadneedle and its affiliates, whether for its own account or on behalf of clients, may not necessarily reflect the views expressed. This information is not intended to provide investment advice and does not take into consideration individual investor circumstances. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor’s specific financial needs, objectives, goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Asset classes described may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance does not guarantee future results, and no forecast should be considered a guarantee either. Information and opinions provided by third parties have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. This document and its contents have not been reviewed by any regulatory authority.

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This document is distributed by Columbia Threadneedle Investments (ME) Limited, which is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). For Distributors: This document is intended to provide distributors’ with information about Group products and services and is not for further distribution. For Institutional Clients: The information in this document is not intended as financial advice and is only intended for persons with appropriate investment knowledge and who meet the regulatory criteria to be classified as a Professional Client or Market Counterparties and no other Person should act upon it. 5992994 | WF487300 (10/23)

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