Sustainable investing allows you to invest in companies that prioritise making a positive impact on the world.
From tackling climate change, to equal rights and animal welfare - you can select investment opportunities that reflect your values, while still helping you to achieve your long-term financial goals.
Investors are increasingly choosing to focus on sustainable funds as a way to help create a better world.[@schroders-link]
Your investment can help companies that support ethical business practices and environmentally-friendly innovations to develop and grow. This means you're not only investing in your own future, but investing in positive change and progress too.
As an investor, it's natural to want to know more about exactly where your money is going. When you choose a sustainable investment fund, you can be confident that more of your money will be aligned with companies that are making a real difference.
Sustainable investing also recognises that the companies which contribute towards tackling major challenges such as climate change and global human rights issues could be in a better position to grow in the future.
It's absolutely possible to make ethically-driven investments and see a healthy profit at the same time. Environmental and societal issues can have an increasingly significant impact on a company's share prices.
Factoring these considerations into your investments could help you to:
reduce your level of financial risk
increase the resilience of your investments
deliver long-term capital growth
Companies that can create value for all stakeholders, including the environment and society as a whole, have consistently shown to be more likely to succeed in the long term, delivering stronger financial returns for shareholders and investors.[@stern-link]
With that said, it is still important to remember that the value of any type of investment can fall as well as rise, and there is no guarantee that you will get back what you invest. Sustainable investment should be seen as a medium to long-term commitment, meaning you should be prepared to invest for at least five years.
Sustainable investing can use a number of different methodologies, and may also be referred to as:
environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing
socially responsible investing (SRI)
While they broadly mean the same thing, there are some key differences in the way they work, which may be important for you to know before you choose a specific investment strategy.
Let's take a closer look at some of the main approaches and what they involve:
Ethical investing tries to actively avoid companies or industries that might have a negative impact on society and the environment. This is called negative screening. Sectors such as the tobacco industry, animal testing, gambling and oil and gas harvesting are typically excluded from this type of investing.
ESG investing actively selects companies that meet specific environmental, social and governance requirements. It is less restrictive than ethical investing, as it considers companies that are adapting their processes, such as oil companies that invest in clean energy.
Impact investing actively selects companies whose positive impact on the world can be measured. For example, those who generate a specific amount of recycling or save a certain amount of water.
HSBC uses the ESG framework to measure the level at which a company is tackling environmental, social and governance issues.
|ESG Framework||Example||Factors include|
|Environmental||What impact does the company have on the environment?||
|Social||How is the company supporting its employees, clients and communities?||
|Governance||How is the company governed or managed?||
|Example||What impact does the company have on the environment?||What impact does the company have on the environment?|
|Example||How is the company supporting its employees, clients and communities?||How is the company supporting its employees, clients and communities?|
|Example||How is the company governed or managed?||How is the company governed or managed?|
If you're considering sustainable investing, your first step should be to discuss your goals with one of our dedicated wealth specialists. They can help you to understand the fund options available and take you through the steps you'll need to take to get started. Premier customers should reach out to their Relationship Manager in the first instance.
Whatever your financial goals might be, working with a dedicated financial planning professional can bring you one step closer to achieving them.
A varied fund selection for customers seeking a regular income from their investments, including a range of low carbon fund opportunities.
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