ESG Strategy and Beliefs

Managing risk lies at the heart of our investment philosophy. We believe integrating ESG criteria into our investment processes is essential, enabling us to better manage the risk of our investments and positively influence long-term, risk-adjusted performance.

19 years

of SRI portfolio management

USD 13.2bn

73% of total AUM

Our ESG philosophy

  • We approach ESG in the same way as all investment risk, carefully assessing the potential impacts and opportunities through a combination of systematic and discretionary analysis, research and monitoring.
  • We believe well-governed businesses with responsible practices can make a positive contribution to our clients’ portfolios over the long term.
  • Sustainability will be a long-term driver for change in markets, countries, sectors and companies, creating opportunities for fruitful investment.
  • As an investor, we want to participate in the investment returns these opportunities will generate.

Our Responsible Investing History

Consistent with our commitment to being a responsible long-term investor, Unigestion remains committed to global initiatives supporting and promoting responsible investing.

Unigestion Responsible Investment history timeline

Integration and Active Ownership

We integrate E, S and G considerations into our investment processes through universe screening, investment selection, portfolio construction, proxy voting and direct and collaborative engagement.

Proxy Voting

We believe in the importance of being an active shareholder and exercise the voting rights of our clients through an outsourced arrangement with a third-party proxy voting specialist.

2022 Proxy Voting Statistics

98.12%

Unigestion votes

9,657

Items voted

18.64%

against management

Unigestion’s proxy voting is based on a customised policy built upon our provider’s proxy voting policy. It includes enhancements to address stricter rules for director and auditor independence, as well as the incorporation of the provider’s Climate Voting Services, which uses their Climate Scorecard.

Direct Engagement

Engagement candidates are selected, based on financial materiality, issues emerging from the AGM, significant controversies, quantitative ESG analysis or qualitative ESG or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) matters identified by our analysts.
We have 4 engagement catalysts:

1 AGM-based Engagements

We engage with portfolio companies on the following issues:

  • Environmental subjects
  • Climate change
  • Human rights
  • Labour rights
  • Public health & safety
  • Business ethics
  • Corporate governance

2 ESG or Controversy Engagements

We have defined and incorporated monitoring rules to identify listed companies held in portfolios which may negatively impact:

  • Stakeholders
  • The environment
  • The company’s operations

3 Thematic Engagement

The responsibilities of companies with respect to SDGs is part of the qualitative research performed by the analysts on both public and privately held companies.
We will reach out directly and collaboratively on issues such as:

  • Net Zero commitments
  • Paris agreement
  • Carbon footprint

4 Client Specific Requests or Certain Requirements

 

  • We incorporate specific engagements from certain clients and portfolios to meet stewardship objectives.
  • Funds complying with the French ISR label have predefined certain objectives which may require specific engagements over time.


Collaborative Engagement

Unigestion collaborates in a number of industry engagement initiatives:.

Climate Action logo

Climate Action 100+

Year joined: 2018
Objectives:

  • Multi-year project by both asset managers and asset owners.
  • Engage with the World’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to curb emissions, strengthen climate-related financial disclosures and improve governance on climate change.
Plastic Solutions logo

Plastic Solutions Investor Alliance

Year joined: 2020
Objectives:

  • International coalition of investors that engages with publicly traded consumer goods companies on threat posed by plastic waste and pollution.
FAIRR logo

FAIRR Sustainable Protein Collaborative Engagement

Year joined: 2020
Objectives:

  • Encourage global food companies to systematically transition product portfolios to facilitate healthier, more sustainable diets.
  • Ask companies to set time-bound commitments to increase the share of nutritious alternative proteins in their portfolios.
access to medecine logo

Access To Medicine Foundation

Year joined: 2022
Objectives:

  • Stimulate and guide pharmaceutical companies to do more for people living in low– and middle-income countries without access to medicine.
CDP logo

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

Year joined: 2022
Objectives:

  • Not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts.
ICI logo

Initiative Climat International (iCI)

Year joined: 2022
Objectives:

  • Focus on the Global Private Equity industry.
  • Leverage tried-and-tested methodologies to analyse and mitigate carbon emissions and exposure to climate-related financial risks in Private Equity portfolios.

Our Long Term Goals

We focus on creating long-term, sustainable value for our clients, for our stakeholders and for society.
Our approach is structured around the following overarching goals:

Promote a purpose linked to the needs of society

We believe the greatest contribution Unigestion can make to society is through our core activity, investing capital, by focusing on three key objectives:

  • Helping the world’s population fund their retirement or meet other life goals.
  • Financing the long-term needs of the real economy by channeling capital to finance growth.
  • Creating the necessary architecture to help solve social and environmental problems, such as facilitating the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Provide good corporate governance with a philanthropic purpose

  • Our largest shareholder is the Famsa Foundation, established by our Chairman Bernard Sabrier.
  • Famsa supports a wide range of non-profit projects in the charitable, educational, cultural and medical fields.
  • We have put in place strong governance and succession plans to safeguard Unigestion’s long-term future and ensure it retains an independent Board of Directors.

Ensure our day-to-day activities promote a sustainable economy

  • We aim to conduct our activities in a way that resonates with our core values.
  • We try to reduce our environmental impact through buying green electricity for our offices, recycling extensively and subsidising the use of green transport where possible.

Align ourselves with the standards we set

  • We apply the same rigour to our company as we demand from others through our engagement activities.
  • We adhere to the same rules that we advocate for the composition of our Board of Directors in terms of independence and governance.

Promote education around responsible investment

  • We promote education around responsible investment for our clients and our employees through dedicated webinars and educational sessions.