Ahead of World Environment Day tomorrow, Investment Week asked industry experts what the day means to them.
Andrew Lake, head of fixed income at Mirabaud Asset ManagementThe challenge of climate change is the single biggest issue we face, which is why heightening awareness of this on days like World Environment Day is crucial.
The warming of our planet, which is already on an unsustainable path, will have a significant impact upon our environment, economies, health, and future.
Decarbonisation is the primary, if not only, solution to arresting global warming. For investors, ESG is not a luxury, it is the difference between saving our planet or not.
We have a responsibility to future generations and to our planet to make sure that companies and countries adhere to high levels of environmental governance and climate reduction targets.
This may sound dramatic, but the choice really is that stark.
Kate Elliot, head of ethical sustainable and impact research at Rathbone Greenbank InvestmentsAs we continue the gradual return to post-Covid business as usual, World Environment Day offers an opportunity to reflect on how we can reshape our economies to ensure they support and enhance the natural environment that we all rely on.
This year, World Environment Day will also see the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This highlights the importance not just of limiting harm, but also understanding how businesses can have a net positive impact on the climate and biodiversity, in order to reverse the decline over recent years. At Greenbank, this is something that continues to be fundamental to our investment approach. As part of the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, we are developing targets for our investments to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
And we are working with the Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials to better understand the biodiversity hotspots within our portfolios to prioritise engagement activity for 2021 and beyond.
Eric Pedersen, head of responsible investments at Nordea Asset ManagementIt is hard to overstate the urgency of climate change, biodiversity loss and all the other effects of human activity on the biosphere that we all depend on.
This issue presents the single largest threat to human prosperity and indeed the planet we live on. The small choices each of us make are important at a collective level – which is what World Environment Day aims to promote.
Specifically, as an investor, you can have more impact than you think. As the urgency of the climate issue is mounting, we at Nordea are continuing to accelerate our efforts.
Our mission is to deliver returns with responsibility, and that includes taking responsibility that future generations will not see their prospects for a good life ruined by our actions here and now.
Christopher Rossbach, manager of the J.Stern & Co World Stars Global Equity fundAs long-term investors, our approach to responsible investing is grounded in our conviction that sustainability, quality, and value are closely linked.
We recognise that our investee companies operate within a nexus of environmental and social factors, and that strong ESG performance drives sustainable returns.
While climate change has justifiably been a key area of focus for us and the investment community at large, we are cognisant of the fact that climate risks are deeply connected to less obvious – but just as important – issues, such as biodiversity and human rights.
As we celebrate this year's World Environment Day, we are pleased to join with other investors in engaging with companies and encouraging them to take ownership of their impact on environmental and social issues.
This reflects the growing recognition that the asset management industry has a pivotal role to play in pushing for better, outcome-driven sustainability approaches that align the business world with the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals and collective prosperity.
Anthony Catachanas, CEO at Victory Hill Capital GroupTo us, World Environment Day is an important moment to remember that global cooperation is what is truly needed to secure the sustainable energy transition.
Climate change is not something that recognises country borders, and while individual countries commit to laudable net zero goals and action plans, today is a day to acknowledge that countries must work together if we are to build a cleaner, healthier world for future generations. While encouraging governments to look outward, we must also acknowledge that the solutions needed to achieve net zero goals and support the energy transition are more wide ranging and complex than renewable power generation alone.
Addressing the inherent intermittency of renewable power sources, displacing fossil fuels, and investing in alternative, innovative technologies and infrastructure will be crucial if we are to build a more sustainable energy system. Urgent action is needed and there is a significant opportunity for investors to play a role and help accelerate the global energy transition.
On World Environment Day, we will continue to adopt a global perspective, funding projects in countries around the world that can have a tangible and immediate impact on both communities and the wider environment.
Victor Zhang, chief investment officer at American Century Investments World Environment Day represents an opportunity for us to embrace the notion that the environment and the economy intersect in a circular fashion.
Think about the circular economy investment opportunity like capital budgeting – only this time, it's natural capital. It should take into consideration both long-term costs and future benefits.
Redefining global value chains today will permit us to avoid the abysmal costs – environmental, social and economic – tomorrow.
Shehriyar Antia, head of thematic research at PGIMWorld Environment Day is important to us because there is increasing evidence we are reaching tipping points in climate change that will have lasting, irreversible impacts on the planet.
These tipping points can trigger a cascading chain of events that accelerate climate change even further. In fact, a major reason for initial calls to limit global warming to 2oC was research showing the risk of tipping points goes up exponentially around that level.
For investors, climate externalities will increasingly be reflected in market prices, leading to a significant repricing of a range of assets, sectors, companies and securities.
Miranda Beacham, head of ESG – equities and MAG at Aegon Asset ManagementTo me, ESG means the examination of the large issues facing the world and understanding how our potential and current investments are seeking to resolve some of these issues.
As we recognise World Environment Day, it is clear none of these companies are going to have perfect solutions, but working with these companies to improve the situation is something we believe passionately in.
Many of these issues are long term in nature – such as the health of our oceans, social inequalities and the warming climate – but if we all play our part, we can build a better future.
If this past year has taught us anything, it is that huge amounts can be achieved if we all pull together for the common good.
This year World Environment Day, which seeks to engage businesses, governments and individuals to address environmental issues, is calling for urgent action to revive damaged ecosystems.
Ahead of the annual event tomorrow, Investment Week asked industry experts what the day means to them. Read their thoughts on the gallery above. Sustainable Investment Festival, 22-25 June Investment...