Engagement has always been central to what we do. Constructive dialogue with management teams not only affords real insight into how a company operates, it is an opportunity to advocate for change where required.
Our selective approach means we invest in a relatively small group of companies. This allows us to engage regularly and to address in detail only those issues we deem material to each company. These conversations are supported by our long-term investment horizon, which enables us to forge strong relationships with management teams and to focus on a company’s strategic direction.
We distinguish between two types of engagement: Engagement for Information and Engagement for Change.
Engagement for Information
The most common form of engagement, an engagement for information is a meeting or correspondence involving a two-way exchange of information. This dialogue makes a vital contribution to our overall understanding of a company, its management and its approach to ESG issues.
Engagement for Change
An engagement for change typically involves a series of one-to-one meetings and correspondence where we seek influence with a defined objective. An engagement for change will often relate to ESG issues and our tailored approach enables us to focus on the issues or concerns material to each company. Given the rigour of our analysis before making an initial investment, we find the need for engagements for change relatively limited when compared to engagements for information.
Proxy voting provides an opportunity to encourage high standards of governance and sustainability, and protect long-term value.
While we carefully consider the views of a company when determining how to vote, we always vote in the best interests of our clients. We consider every resolution on an individual basis and, where we can vote, we have a 100% voting record.
UK Stewardship Code 2022
Our Annual Sustainability Report serves as our response to the UK Stewardship Code.
Signatories and memberships
We are members or signatories of a number of select groups that we believe best represent the industry in pushing for change or where we feel the educational element will complement our own research in a material way.
Our most recent sustainability themed articles from our Research team with additional contributions from industry experts, academics and authors. Further articles can be found on our Insights page.
How to get from A to B in a Global Energy Transition
The complexity of the global energy transition is a significant long-term challenge for investors. At Walter Scott’s recent Research Conference, two guest speakers took a closer look at the reality of the transition and some of the many associated risks and opportunities.7 minute read
From pigs to cotton – the rise of the shareholder proposal
Shareholder proposals are a growing feature of proxy voting season. While in many ways we welcome this increased shareholder scrutiny, too often what appears a reasonable objective on paper fails to withstand closer inspection.7 minute read
Making the Grid Smarter
The electrical grid system has been around for more than a century. Investment Analyst Michael Scott explores how the traditional model is having to adapt to new methods of electricity generation and the transition to net zero.11 minute read
Sustainability – evolution not revolution
With sustainability the focus of increasingly heated and polarised discourse, we thought it timely to revisit our approach to the subject. Not with a view to taking sides in this debate, but rather to reiterate the fundamentals of our approach and articulate its philosophical underpinnings. In other words, how we do sustainability and why.11 minute read
Green Hydrogen – Taking Another Look
Hydrogen has been tipped to play an important role in the global transition to renewable energy. Investment Manager Ashley-Jane Kyle takes another look at hydrogen and assesses recent developments from the perspective of two companies in the industry.10 minute read
In Conversation with Alan Lander & Tom Miedema
Following the publication of a series of articles and videos around the topic of decarbonisation earlier this year, the project’s chief architects address client questions, particularly around the viability of energy stocks as long-term investments and how we incorporate climate considerations within our analysis.13 minute watch
“We’re fiddling while the forests burn”
Focusing on rising temperature while ignoring our emptying natural habitats makes no sense. An approach that takes the hand of nature while forcing climate change to slow down is the best way forward, says Oliver Balch.15 minute read
The Journey to a Carbon-Neutral Economy
Today, carbon emissions must be a serious consideration for all investors, particularly those with a long-term perspective. Over the last 18 months, we have been focused on the strategies and technologies that will shape the transition to a lower-carbon economy. Here, we identify how we seek to put this recent work into practice and how it will enhance our analysis going forward.
The New E in ESG
The way companies approach employee wellbeing is a critical test of their culture. Can they come through the current crisis with a strong and more meaningful workplace culture – or will Covid-19 expose it as an empty gesture?8 minute read
Luxury We Can’t Afford?
When a global crisis hits, what does it mean for the likes of Chanel, Ferrari and Louis Vuitton? We find out how the luxury goods sector is faring as the Covid-19 pandemic turns the world upside down.11 minute read
Supply chains trapped as western retailers close their doors
Retailers’ adaption to the Covid-19 crisis is not only impacting their employees but, just as starkly, workers at the end of the supply chain.9 minute read
Standards at the end of the supply chain
Investment Managers Alan Lander and Des Armstrong travelled to Vietnam and Bangladesh to revisit apparel and footwear factories in South-East Asia.12 minute watch