What it takes to be an effective sustainability advocate
As Head of SRI, Hamish Chamberlayne, champions sustainability every day. It takes authenticity and a desire to take part in resolving real world issues to make any meaningful dent in environmental and social challenges.
An avid follower of any news, reports and other information on sustainability, Hamish sees the environmental and social woes of the world around him. Yet he is fortunate enough to be able to do something positive to effect real change while striving to be the best portfolio manager and aiming to deliver good returns for his clients.
In his role as Head of SRI at Janus Henderson Investors, and Portfolio Manager of the firm’s US$1.3 billion* Global Sustainable Equity Strategy, Chamberlayne can exert an influence via the strategy’s investment process by allocating capital towards companies that are playing a positive role in the transformation of the global economy – and avoiding investing those which do harm. This is not a new perspective for the strategy, as it has been operating with these principles since 1991.
Being an advocate on sustainability matters does not mean a confrontational relationship with companies. Instead, the strategy’s investment principles can lead to partnerships with the companies it invests, in where Hamish Chamberlayne and his team can work with management on its continual improvement and sustainability journey.
Take the engagement of the Global Sustainable Equity Team on net zero carbon.
With low carbon investing central to its philosophy, the Global Sustainable Equity Team joined the Net Zero Carbon 10 initiative. The initiative sets ambitious yet achievable targets for carbon reduction to help prevent the disastrous and irreversible consequences of climate change.
This enables investment managers to better align their investment policies to the requirement for carbon neutrality, rather than just emissions reduction. The approach focuses on net zero emissions based on scope one, two and three emissions.
The team has since found that beginning this initiative has led to more focused discussions with companies that have begun a low-carbon journey but do not have a target to achieve neutrality by 2030. This engagement has been positively received, strengthening the team’s relationship and dialogue with the companies it invests in.
All this doesn’t come easily. Having a positive impact on the wider economy is only possible by moving past just analysing companies. One must engage and collaborate with firms, colleagues and even sometimes competitors to ensure positive outcomes for people and the planet, all with the intention of making a profit.
*As at 30 June 2019.