Maple-Brown Abbott's Sustainable Fund Relaunch

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by KnowESG
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The Maple-Brown Abbott Responsible Investment Fund has been repositioned and relaunched as the Maple-Brown Abbott Australian Sustainable Future Fund by the fund manager.

The screening process has been updated to ensure that all portfolio holdings have a positive environmental and social impact. Additionally, the fund now aligns more closely with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Emma Pringle, the head of ESG, and portfolio manager Chris Hotop will continue to manage the sustainably themed investment fund. The fund invests in a wide range of ASX-listed companies and usually holds 25-40 stocks. The initial investment required for the fund is $20,000.

Sophia Rahmani, the CEO and Managing Director of Maple-Brown Abbott, stated that the repositioned fund utilises the firm's resources, expertise, and track record in Australian equity investing, as well as its long history and focus on ESG factors. She added that they believe investors can contribute to creating a better future.

Sophia Rahmani said that the challenges faced by society, such as climate change, resource management, financial inequality, and differences in living standards, require capital investment with the purpose of fostering solutions and promoting positive outcomes for people and the planet. The Australian Sustainable Future Fund aims to play an active role in this process.

Rahmani also stated that the fund will facilitate a positive impact by providing access to capital for companies that are making a difference. Additionally, the fund will refrain from supporting firms that impede social progress and engage with companies to influence their behaviour, which has other benefits.

She also mentioned that they do not think positive impact investing should come at the expense of strong financial returns. It is a requirement of the fund that all portfolio holdings have a positive environmental or social impact. She further added that they are interested in understanding the potential real-world outcome of the companies they invest in and how they are contributing to creating a better future for Australia.

Pringle said they apply a positive screen to the investment universe to identify companies that contribute positively to one or more of their sustainable investment themes, which are based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. When assessing companies, Maple-Brown Abbott evaluates the extent to which their revenue comes from products and services that support their sustainable investment themes.

Pringle also mentioned that they evaluate a company's future capacity to support their sustainable investment themes, acknowledging that sustainability necessitates considering the requirements of both current and future generations. This is especially crucial when investing in a low-carbon future. She gave an example of an energy system in transition, where the needs in the future may be distinct from the present.

She also said that their reporting includes a visual representation of the extent to which the fund is contributing to each of the Sustainable Development Goals to provide investors with a clear understanding of their impact. The fund also uses a negative screen to eliminate companies that are materially engaged in activities that undermine a sustainable future.

Hotop mentioned that identifying companies that will contribute positively to a sustainable future and provide strong risk-adjusted returns over the long term necessitates rigorous active management.

Hotop said the fund adopts Maple-Brown Abbott's Australian value equities team's value-driven approach to investing in listed Australian companies that promote positive environmental or social outcomes.

He further added that they employ a bottom-up stock selection process based on a comprehensive fundamental analysis by their investment team to identify undervalued stocks that they anticipate will provide income and long-term capital growth to investors.

To view and compare company ESG Ratings and Sustainability Reports across sectors, follow our Company ESG Profiles page.

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Source: Financial Standard

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