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The sustainable investing guide for advisers

All you need to know about ESG investing and meeting client needs

What does sustainable investing mean for advisers?

As with other types of investing, stocks for a sustainably-managed fund are invariably selected because they are perceived to represent excellent investment opportunities. This may be because of, for instance, their growth potential or a compelling valuation. However, in addition to these factors, a sustainable fund manager will also typically consider how a company rates against certain Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards before making an investment:

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Environmental issues

How a company is addressing issues such as climate change, resource depletion, waste, pollution and deforestation.

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Social issues

A company’s policies and record in relation to human rights, modern slavery, child labour, working conditions and employee relations.

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Governance issues

A company’s record in relation to bribery and corruption, executive pay, board diversity and structure, political lobbying/donations and tax strategy.

What makes a sustainable fund?

The issue for advisers is that fund managers have contrasting views on what constitutes a sustainable investment. They may also have differing policies – one manager may exclude all stocks from certain ‘sin’ sectors, such as alcohol or tobacco, while another is happy to include some based on their ESG credentials. For a client who has strong ethical, moral or religious views, a fund’s approach and policies will be crucial when assessing suitability.

In our Adviser Guide to Sustainable Investing, we examine the various types of funds and approaches, such as:

  • Exclusionary 
  • Impact investments
  • Sustainability-focused funds
  • ESG integration

We also look at a number of principles and standards that act as a common reference point for fund managers who invest responsibly.

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Sustainable investing glossary

Our glossary defines some of the more frequently-used terms in this field of investment.

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Sustainable investing and the advice process

Clients increasingly want to match their money with their morals. Taking account of their ESG preferences within the factfinding process is therefore good practice.

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Sustainable fund options on FundsNetwork

We offer over 310 sustainably-managed funds from 81 different fund groups through our platform.

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Important Information - Please note that the value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up so your client may get back less than they invest.