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Sustainability at 7IM

In both the way we invest money and the way we run our business, we know the importance of sustainability

Here at 7IM, we are guided above all by the responsibility we have towards our clients and their assets.

That includes taking a holistic look at our asset allocation, and recognising that environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are becoming an increasingly important metric when considering long-term risk and return.

Sustainability is a long-term trend and we believe it’s important that asset managers keep in mind the risks posed by issues like climate change. It’s not only a reflection of social values, it’s good business.

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

7IM signed up to the United Nations PRI in 2019 – not only did we feel it was the right thing to do, it also gives our clients clarity about where we stand. We are also signatories to the UK Stewardship Code.

As part of our commitment to the PRI, we are fully integrating ESG issues into our investment process and will produce our first full PRI report in March 2021. We believe that incorporating the Principles into our investment process makes us more accountable in our aims of:

  • Estimating the environmental footprint and the corporate & country governance of all 7IM Strategic Asset Allocation portfolios each year

  • Analysing all tactical asset allocations in terms of ESG impact – including emissions, human rights and governance – on portfolios

  • Weighting ESG issues in our fund research and analysis

  • Measuring the impact of ESG consideration on portfolio exposures and returns

Responsible investing

Since 2007, we have been running the 7IM Sustainable Balance Fund, which assesses ESG factors in its investment process by excluding companies from non-sustainable industries or those with poor track records of ethical conduct. Alongside actively excluding certain companies, we also identify and favour companies with positive ethical conduct.

But we want to go beyond the Sustainable Balance Fund, so we’re integrating ESG factors into how we manage money throughout our funds. Each of our three main investment teams – Investment Strategy, Portfolio Management and Investment Risk – has an ESG focus and designated ESG champion to ensure that these issues are addressed in the investment process.

As part of our sustainability roadmap, we expect to be able to do ESG risk assessments for all of our portfolios, and are currently trialling different methodologies that will help us best assess their ESG rating and carbon footprint.

Succeeding together

We believe that incorporating ESG into our business should go beyond our investments, that sustainability and good governance start at home. Taking our responsibilities as a corporate citizen seriously, we have a number of sustainability initiatives in place and are always looking for further positive changes we can make.

Corporate footprint
From carbon emissions to travel behaviour and consumables, we are looking at where we can make the biggest impact on emissions reductions, in the short, medium and long terms. This includes energy efficiency, reporting under the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Framework, and considering sustainability in our procurement processes. In 2020, our London building won a Gold award in the ‘City of London Clean City Awards’.
Our culture has always been at the heart of our business. We have invested significantly in a culture evolution programme to transform our employee experience, focusing on supporting the wellbeing of colleagues in a healthy and sustainable way. We also know our people are a huge asset in terms of ESG, so we encourage them to help steer our sustainability awareness campaign, sharing their knowledge on issues such as carbon reduction and sustainable choices.
Being a good citizen starts in your own community, so we’re proud to partner with a number of charities. In 2018 and 2019, we raised over £40,000 for our chosen charity, the National Deaf Children’s Society and in 2020, we’ve been fundraising for COVID-related causes. Going into 2021, 7IM staff will have the ability to request match funding towards a charity of their choice, on a quarterly basis.
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