Beyond ESG summit


On 30th March ’22, the VP  went ‘Beyond ESG’.  We looked through the green and SDG-wash with asset management leaders in Sustainable and Impact investment.  A diverse range of topics were covered including investment in green & climate bonds, emerging markets impact, social infrastructure, company culture and the energy transition.

We would like to say a big thanks to our sponsors and also our fantastic delegates for their engagement, questions and contribution to ensure this was a thought provoking and successful event.

A synopsis each of our sponsors’ topics including our plenary speakers on Levelling Up and on the Energy Transition follows.

You can see more about all our speakers and delegates in the event brochure which is available to download.

Delivering impact in emerging markets through fixed income investment

Insights from an Emerging Markets focused impact manager on how to deliver and construct best in class fixed income impact solutions.

BlueOrchard manage ~$850mn in Impact Bonds addressing sustainable economic development and climate action. The session covered the evolution of BlueOrchard and into democratisation from portfolio construction to Impact reporting of the BlueOrchard UCITS platform.


Event Slides

Article: Why active ESG Management is Key

Blue Orchard Impact report 2021

Navigating the Energy Transition

Over the next thirty years, the world will transition towards a sustainable energy system driven by five key factors:

  • Population and GDP growth: The UN projects that the world population will increase nearly 25% by 2050, straining supply
  • Climate change: The world will reduce carbon emissions via cleaner energy
  • Pollution: Cleaner energy offers a solution to urban air quality
  • Energy security: Governments are attracted to the distributed nature of sustainable energy, lowering import reliance
  • Economics: Sustainable energy sources will be cheaper than the incumbents.

Jonathan Waghorn’s presentation covered the reasons why the energy transition is occurring, the role of hydrocarbons, and the current headwinds and tailwinds. He will also explain how the Guinness Energy team invests in these themes.


Event slides – Please contact us

Video: The Energy Transition

Guinness Sustainable Energy Fund – Update

How identifying companies with a strong corporate culture can lead to better risk adjusted returns

More than 40% of all employees were thinking about leaving their jobs at the beginning of 2021. This led to what has become labeled as “the Great Resignation”, disrupting many companies and their operations. While many business leaders are still struggling to make sense of the factors driving the mass exodus, corporate culture has emerged as the most reliable predictor of industry-adjusted attrition, much ahead of how employees assess their compensation.

Interestingly, abundant academic research and numerous business case studies have shown corporate culture is the main engine that make or break the success of companies, but it remains one of the least researched fields by investment professionals. Many people talk about it, but few know how to do it for real. Through frameworks and examples, let’s explore how ESG can be a gold mine for investors trying to assess what cultures are made of and how it can lead to better performances of companies and of investments.


Event slides

Paper: The qualities of “Quality” and the use of ESG in investing

Paper: What companies’ behaviour can tell us about their ESG risks and culture

How fixed Income investors can mitigate climate change

The planet is facing an unprecedented crisis – climate change. In order to prevent disastrous consequences, the Paris Agreement recommends limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this, global emissions must fall by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. This scale of reduction necessitates a radical transformation of the global economy. With less than 30 years to achieve global decarbonisation, investors play a vital role in accelerating the transition.

Valued at USD 124 trillion (end of 2020), global debt markets are the largest source of financing globally (Source: WWF, 2021: Can debt capital markets save the planet?). As fixed income investors, we have the ability to influence organisations across the world in terms of their decarbonisation strategy and to direct our capital to those institutions that we feel are taking those issues most seriously.

During our session entitled ‘How fixed Income investors can mitigate climate change’ we discussed the role that bond investors play in addressing this critical issue and our approach which is focuses on investing in companies that are driving the decarbonisation agenda engaging with companies in high emission sectors that must transition in order for climate goals to be met.


Event slides

Paper: Sustainable Reduced Carbon Bond – Climate Snippets – COP26 and what does this mean for investors?

Paper: Biodiversity bond plants seeds for engagement

Investing for Impact: measurement and engagement

As the arena for impact investing continues to grow, Ben Constable-Maxwell, Head of Impact Investing, and Jasveet Brar, Fund Manager of M&G Better Health Solutions Fund, discussed investing to deliver impact for society and the environment, drawing on specific stock examples.

Through the lens of the impact investment framework at M&G, they will explore measurement in impact investing. They underpinned the significance of engagement through discussion of recent examples undertaken with holdings of impact funds.


Event slides

Paper: Measuring the impact of an investment

Paper: Double Materiality – Orienting investments towards real world outcomes

Green Bonds: Investing for return & Impact… whilst avoiding the pitfalls

As ESG and sustainability have become part of the common investment lexicon, we’re beginning to ask where real, measurable, impact can be found without sacrificing liquidity and moving too far down the risk spectrum.

Douglas Farquhar, will discuss the merits of green bonds as an asset class, the potential pitfalls when selecting bonds and the positive impact they can have within a portfolio, showcasing our experience and impressive track record in this space as one of the world’s largest green bond investors.


Event slides

Responsible investment at NN Investment Partners


As part of our Summit we had in-depth plenary debates on two key topics;

  • Levelling Up: Investing for return and impact in social infrastructure
  • Energy security and transition: What next for the energy mix & renewables?

Levelling Up: Investing for return and impact in social infrastructure

The implications of stimulus policy taken during the pandemic are becoming evident: Government borrowing has exploded, and inflation is increasingly looking entrenched. The tragic events in Ukraine have only added fuel to this inflationary fire.  The result:  A cost of living crisis that is materially impacting already deprived communities. Patient, long-term capital can bridge the gap of public funding deficits and can be valuable for investors looking for return AND social impact in their portfolios.

In this panel discussion, we welcomed Christine Chang of Big Society Capital representing the Schroder BSC Investment Trust and Paul Bridge of Civitas Social Housing PLC to discuss the landscape and diversity of opportunities in social impact and place based investment.  Lyn Tomlinson of Cazenove provided the client perspective.


Schroder Big Society Capital Half Yearly Report

Civitas: Social Impact Investing

Energy security and transition: What next for the energy mix & renewables

With a global pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grabbing the headlines, far less attention than is needed has been directed to the climate crisis and delivery of the directives set out at the COP26 summit in November 2021.

With the Ukrainian conflict raging, the discussion has moved on to energy security in Europe and beyond. Will this be a ‘shot in the arm’ for investment and progress in renewables? How has it affected pricing and opportunities? And how has technology developed for storage as well as creation of diverse energy sources?

We asked some of these questions and more with David Hunter, Founder and CIO of Renewity and Tim Guinness, Founder and Chairman of Guinness Global Investors.


Renewity Paper:  Why bubbles arise in renewables

Guinness Video: The Energy Transition