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This is the term we use to describe the procedures we have in place to keep the Fund’s investing approach in line with our thinking on environmental, social and governance issues (ESG).
We believe that good management of environmental and social risks/opportunities and sound business governance can contribute to long-term business success.
We have currently split responsible investment into three key areas:
We encourage the Fund’s investment managers to take ESG issues into account when choosing assets. In addition, we appointed two new global equity managers in April 2014, who are particularly strong in this area. These two managers invest in a similar way to the Fund’s other global equity managers but have a bias towards ESG considerations in their choice of companies to invest in.
Hermes Equity Ownership Services (Hermes EOS), a third party specialist we appointed in 2013, vote on our behalf at the Annual General Meetings, and other meetings, of companies where the Fund directly holds shares. Hermes EOS has a standard policy setting out how they will vote in certain circumstances, and we have agreed to adopt this policy as it is in line with our investment beliefs.
Hermes EOS provides a report on how they have voted every quarter which is reviewed by the Univest Company, Unilever’s in-house investment services company.
You can download the latest voting report here. You can also find previous reports at the bottom of the page.
To support our belief that well governed companies perform better over the long term, Hermes EOS engages with certain companies on our behalf to encourage them to improve in the ESG area.
They provide a quarterly report on their engagements which is also reviewed by the Univest Company.
You can download the latest engagement report here. You can also find previous reports at the bottom of the page.
We use Sustainalytics B.V., another third party specialist, to analyse the sustainability of the companies we have invested in. This kind of analysis gives us a guide to how well these companies manage ESG issues, as well as highlighting any that are carrying a high ESG risk. The outcome of these services allows the Univest Company (overseen by the Fund’s Investment and Funding Committee) to challenge our investment managers.
The procedures in relation to responsible investment outlined above only relate to the ‘defined benefit’ sections of the Fund – that is, the investments relating to the Career average and Final salary plans. The Trustees are currently considering their responsible investment procedures in relation to the ‘defined contribution’ section of the Fund – that is, the investments in the Investing plan.
If you have any queries on the Fund’s responsible investment or any of the information contained in the reports, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0) 208 439 6469.