EdenTree Amity European A (OEIC/Unit Trust)
SRI / Ethical Overview
The Amity European Fund aims to achieve long term capital growth with a reasonable level of income primarily through a diversified portfolio of European companies. The Amity European Fund seeks to invest in a portfolio of companies which make a positive contribution to society and the environment through sustainable and socially responsible practices, using the following criteria: Business Practices, Community Relations, Corporate Governance Practices, Education, Environmental Management, Healthcare, Human Rights, Labour Relations and Urban Regeneration.
Further, this fund will not invest in companies that derive more than 10% of their profits from: Alcohol production, Tobacco production, Strategic Armaments, Animal Testing (cosmetics), Pornography, Gambling Operations, Intensive Agriculture.
SRI / themed / ethical assets under management – overview
- Fund Size (GBP): £98.70m as at 30/04/2018
- Total value of SRI/ethical/environmental/ social/ environmental or sustainability themed funds: £722.64m as at 31/12/2017
- Total value of assets covered by any additional ESG or responsible ownership policy: £846.67m as at 31/12/2017
- Total assets under management: £2,690.53m as at 31/12/2017
SRI Policies (Primary strategy in bold)
- Environmental policy Find investment funds with environmental policies - ie that consider issues such as pollution, climate change, resource management, environmental impact. This will include options from all of the different SRI Styles, including funds where their core strategy is to focus on other areas such as ethical funds. See fund information for fund specific policy details.
- Health & wellbeing policies Find ethical or sustainable investment fund options that have a policy which supports (ie aims to invest in) companies that are viewed as offering positive lifestyle, health or wellbeing related benefits.
- Limits exposure to carbon intensive industries Find environmental, sustainable investment, ethical fund and other options that aim to significantly reduce or limit exposure to carbon intensive industries (ie sectors which are major contributors to climate change). Funds vary - strategies may involve excluding sectors such as coal, oil & gas, mining or airlines - or may indicate a 'best in sector' approach is taken. See fund literature for details.
- Sustainability policy Find fund options that consider issues relating to the sustainability agenda (e.g. resource management, environmental impact, climate change and/or social issues such as equal opportunities, human rights and adherence to recognised codes). This will include funds from all of the different SRI Styles. See fund information for explanations of the different strategies.
- Ethical policies Find funds with 'traditional' ethical investment policies. These typically focus on avoiding companies that are involved in the armaments industry, tobacco, gambling and/or pornography. Options will include funds where their core strategy or style may be to focus other issues - like sustainability or the environment, not just 'ethical funds'. Strategies vary significantly. Check fund literature for details.
- Social policy Find fund options that consider social issues (e.g. human rights, labour standards, equal opportunities, child labour and adherence to internationally recognised codes such as the UN Global Compact). This will include funds in most of the different SRI Styles as this is considered a core issue. See fund information for detail.
- Governance policy Find fund options that have policies that relate to corporate governance issues such as board structure, executive remuneration, bribery and/or corporate corruption. These funds will typically avoid companies with poor practices.
- Animal welfare policy Find ethical fund options that have policies that require specific animal welfare standards to be adopted by investee companies in order for them to be considered for inclusion within the fund.
- Animal testing exclusion policy Find ethical investment options that avoid companies that are involved in testing their products on animals. Ethical fund strategies vary - some exclude all companies that test on animals, others allow companies that test for medical purposes or where required by law. Read fund details for fund specific information.
- Tobacco production avoided Find fund options that exclude manufacturers of tobacco (or related) products. This typically relates to ethical funds however funds from other SRI Styles commonly avoid this area also. Strategies vary and funds may invest in retailers of such products (e.g. supermarkets or hotels.) See fund information for further information.
- Armaments manufacturers avoided Find ethical fund (and other SRI) options that avoid avoids companies that manufacture products intended specifically for military use. Fund strategies vary - particularly with regard to non strategic military products. Read fund literature for specific details.
- Coal, oil &/or gas majors excluded Find sustainable investment and ethical fund options that avoid significant involvement in coal, oil and/or gas producing companies. Funds vary. See individual fund literature to confirm details.
- Climate change / GHG policy Find sustainable investment and ethical fund options that pay significant attention to climate change related issues such as greenhouse gas/carbon emissions. Strategies vary, see fund literature for individual fund information.
- Invests in clean energy/renewables Find ethical, sustainable investment and other environmentally aware fund options that aim to invest in companies in the clean technology and renewable energy sectors. Fund strategies vary. Some funds may have limited exposure to this area, others may have significant exposure. Check fund literature for details.
- Alcohol production excluded This filter helps you to find ethical funds - and other options - that avoid investment in alcohol production. See fund literature for further information.
- Fracking and tar sands excluded Find fund options that avoid companies involved in fracking and tar sands - which are widely regarded as more controversial methods of oil and gas extraction.
- Gambling avoidance policy Find ethical fund options (and other options) that avoid companies with significant involvement in the gambling industry. See fund policy for details.
- Pornography avoidance policy Find ethical fund option - and in some cases other options - that avoid companies that derive significant income from pornography. See fund details for further information.
- Human rights Find funds that consider human rights practices when approving companies for investment. Such funds will require decent standards of human rights to be demonstrated - which typically means adherence to international norms as a minimum standard.
- Deforestation / palm oil policy (new) Find funds that have policies in place that ensure they do not invest in companies that are significantly involved in deforestation, this typically relates to palm oil plantations.
- Responsible supply chain policy or theme (new) Find funds that have policies or a themed that considers the responsible management of supply chain related issues (these may relate to employment, product sourcing, sustainability or other issues)
- RSMR Rated Find funds that are rated by research agency 'Rayner Spencer Mills Research' (awarded 'RSMR SRI Rated' status). Read fund literature on contact RSMR for further information.
- Positive selection bias Find funds where their main 'ethical approach' is to invest in companies that are considered to be positive/good or useful to people and/or the environment. The fund may also have negative avoidance criteria - see fund details to read more about fund strategies.
- Negative selection bias Find funds where their main 'ethical approach' is to avoid companies by using negative screening criteria. Read fund literature for further information.
- Eurosif transparency Find funds that meet the standards of the EUROSIF transparency Code. This means that they are a leading fund in terms of openness and transparency, publishing - for example - extensive information about where they invest and how they deal with companies.
- Over 50% large cap Find funds that invests more than half of their money into what are commonly regarded as 'large companies'. This will typically mean that the market capitalisation (or value) of the companies they hold is in excess of £5 to £10 billion.
- Favours cleaner, greener companies Find funds that aim to nvest in companies with strong environmental policies and practices. This may mean it invests in smaller companies offering market leading environmental services or products and/or larger companies that are working towards the improved management of their negative impacts. Read fund literature for further information.
- Favours companies with strong social policies Find funds that invest in line with positive strategies that relate to 'people' issues - such as having strong human rights, labour standards and equal opportunities practices. Such funds are likely to invest in companies that have market leading standards with regard to employee and supplier practices. Read fund literature for further information.
- Faith friendly Find funds that have attributes that commonly suit the aims of investors of faith - although they may not be specifically marketed as being only for religious investors. Strategies vary (as do investor aims). Read fund literature for further information.
- Strictly screened ethical fund Find funds that have a high level of negative ethical avoidance. These funds are likely to exclude more companies than other ethical (and SRI) fund options. Read fund literature for further information.
- Aims to generate positive impacts Find funds that aim to help deliver positive social or environmental impacts or outcomes through their investment decisions - which typically involves holding companies that are viewed as being necessary or beneficial. Strategies and approaches vary. A small number of funds have recently started to measure outcomes (see 'Measures Impacts' in the Policy filter). This is a new area - so most funds do not do this yet. See fund literature for further information.
- Available via an ISA Find funds that are available via a tax efficient ISA product wrapper
- Responsible ownership / stewardship policy (new) Find funds that have a policy that sets out what they do with regard to responsible investment ownership - also known as 'stewardship'. This typically relates to issues such as dialogue with companies and shareholder voting.
- ESG integration strategy (new) Find funds that factor in 'environmental, social and governance' issues as part of their investment decision making process. (These typically relate to improved risk management.)
- Combines norms based exclusions with other SRI criteria (new) Find funds that make significant use of internationally agreed 'norms' (eg United Nations Global Compact - UNGC - or the UN Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs) as part of their investment selection process ALONGSIDE additional SRI criteria such as positive or negative stock selection policies and/or stewardship strategies.
- Combines ESG strategy with other SRI criteria (new) Find funds that have an ESG strategy (which is typically focuses on avoiding companies that post environmental, social or governance related risks) with additional criteria such as positive and/or negative screens or engagement/stewardship strategies.
- Invests mostly in large cap companies (new) Find funds that have SRI strategies and focus their investment stock selection on larger companies (eg over £1bn)
- Invests in social housing (new) Find funds that have significant investment in social housing or similar assets
- Employ external oversight or advisory committee (new) Find funds that have a external committee that helps steer or advise fund managers on SRI policy or strategy related issues. These people may be paid for their time but are not employees of the fund manager.
- ESG/SRI engagement Find funds and fund management companies that actively encourages higher 'environmental, social and governance' and/or 'sustainable and responsible investment' practices amongst investee companies - when positive change is aligned with the best interest of investors. This may apply to a single fund or a group of funds. Read fund literature for further information.
- Responsible Ownership policy for non SRI funds Find funds run by fund managers that apply Responsible Ownership or 'Stewardship' policies to all or most of their investment assets. This means that active involvement (e.g. voting, dialogue) with the companies they invest in across funds (not normally limited to ethical or SRI options.) Read fund literature for further information.
- Integrates ESG factors into all/most fund research Find fund management companies that research environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues when deciding whether or not to invest in a company. This typically applies to all funds, not only those which are promoted as being 'ethical' or 'SRI themed'. This is increasingly often used as a risk management tool.
- Vote all* shares at AGMs/EGMs This fund manager votes or aims to vote all* the shares they own at Annual General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings. A commitment to voting shares is a key indicator of 'responsible share ownership' - where fund managers consider - and express their views on - the key business issues effecting the companies they part own. (*Allowance is made for exceptional situations such as when shares are in the process of being sold.)
- In house responsible ownership/voting expertise Find fund / fund management companies where there is in-house expertise that enables the fund manager to make their own decisions on issues such as shareholder voting, setting of in-house guidelines - for example - particularly with regard to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
- Responsible Ownership/ESG a key differentiator The fund managers have said they consider this area to be a key differentiator for their business
- UK Stewardship Code signatory Find fund managers that are signatories to the FRC UK Stewardship Code, which sets out a framework for constructive investor / investee relations where fund managers are encouraged to behave as responsible 'company owners'.
- Publish Responsible Ownership/Stewardship report Find fund management companies that publish information on their approach to responsible investment ownership - also known as 'Stewardship' - following the introduction of 'the Stewardship Code'. This sets out their approach to voting, dialogue with company management and any related activity. This is publicly available.
- Publish full voting record Find fund management companies that publishes a full record of how they vote at AGMs and EGMs. This information is publicly available.
- Review(ing) carbon/fossil fuel exposure for all funds Find funds / fund managers that are reviewing or have reviewed their exposure to carbon intensive industries including (but not only) mining, oil and gas companies. This work is being carried out in the context of climate change related concerns, and may often reference international agreements.
- Regularly lead collaborative ESG initiatives Find funds managed by fund management companies that regularly initiate or help run industry wide (collaborative) investor projects aimed at raising environmental, social and governance standards amongst investee companies.
- PRI signatory Find fund management companies that have signed up to the UN backed 'Principles of Responsible Investment' initiative.
- Boutique/specialist fund manager Find options offered by smaller, more specialist fund management companies with a significant (or entire) emphasis on sustainable, responsible, ethical, ESG or responsible ownership related investment strategies. Note - strategies vary significantly. Check fund manager supplied links for further information.
- UKSIF member (new) The fund management company is a member of UKSIF - the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance association
- Climate Action 100+ or IIGCC member (new) Involved in collaborative institutional investor initiatives that are encouraging companies to address climate change (ie reduce carbon emissions)
- Encourage board diversity eg gender (new) Fund managers encourage the companies they invest in to have more diverse board structures (eg more women on boards)
- Encourage carbon / GHG reduction (new) The fund management company is working with the companies it invests in to encourage reductions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.
- Employ specialist ESG/SRI/sustainability researchers (new) The fund management company directly employs specialist ESG/SRI/sustainability researchers or analysts
- Use specialist ESG/SRI/sustainability research companies (new) The company makes use of expert external research
- Specialist SRI / positive impact fund management company (new) Find fund management companies that specialise in - or focus entirely on - delivering positive impacts or SRI related fund management options
- Full SRI policy information available on request (new) Information on all selected filter options will be supplied by the fund manager if you ask them to do so
SRI / Ethical Policy
EdenTree Investment Management is a pioneer of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) and launched its first SRI investment fund in 1988. We utilise both negative and positive screening within the investment process. In respect of negative screening, we avoid companies whose activities derive in excess of 10% of their pre-tax profit or turnover from alcohol production, gambling, pornographic and violent material, tobacco production, strategic armaments, animal testing and intensive farming.
We look for the positive aspects in potential investments to ensure we invest in companies that are making a positive contribution to society and the environment. These may cover good business and corporate governance practices and community relations. We also look for companies promoting good standards of education, environmental management and healthcare. We look favourably upon companies which promote human rights, good labour relations and urban regeneration. As well as our own in-house research (including special thematic reports) we use a range of sources, including independent data from Risk Metrics in respect of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues.
EdenTree employs both negative and positive screening to its stock selection process and engages with companies before, during and after investing. This process is integrated into our overall investment management process and we use the following ‘screens’ when considering the suitability of an investment.
Our positive screening approach centres on what we define as the ‘Nine Pillars’ of responsible investing. We are particularly focused on areas that provide the necessities of life such as healthcare, water, education and housing, or products and services that are sourced ethically and produced sustainably. We also favour ‘solutions-focused’ companies that are leading the way in technologies that may help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems, such as climate change, alternative energy or water conservation. In addition, we focus on business behaviour, expecting the companies we invest in to have a well-managed policy for promoting human rights, environmental protection, labour rights and business ethics.
Our negative screens include alcohol production, gambling operations, pornographic or violent material or weapon production. We also consider animal testing, oppressive regimes and intensive farming in our criteria when evaluating a company.
Amity Panel Review
The Amity Panel meet with the fund management and research team 3 or 4 times each year to review the Amity Fund portfolios, the recent investment decisions and to discuss the latest Socially Responsible research and trends. The purpose of the Amity Socially Responsible Investment Advisory Panel is to:-
• Help to ensure that the EdenTree Amity Range of Funds meet the stated aims and objectives.
• Provide advice in the formulation of policy in the light of changing social and environmental issues.
The Amity Panel will provide advice to the SRI team in a number of ways
• Advising on emerging issues or topics relevant to SRI criteria.
• Provide advice and guidance on individual companies or sectors.
• Provide advice and guidance on engagement work.
The independent panel is made up of a number of industry experts, including:
• The Right Reverend Dr Nigel Peyton – The Bishop of Brechin
• George Prescott – ex Ecclesiastical Deputy CEO and CFO, former ABI board member
• Helen Crosby – Sustainability Expert.
• Julie McDowell – Independent Consultant
• Julian Parrott – Client Member, Ethical Futures
• Bill Seddon – ex CEO Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church
The SRI team is responsible for ESG research and advising Fund Managers. The team has access to a number of external resources for decision making. We have appointed Sustainalytics as our ESG data provider which serves as a starting point for our ESG research. This is complemented by NGO sources, company reports, market news and SRI initiatives. The SRI team also directly meets with companies to discuss sustainability and governance issues.
Resources, Affiliations & Corporate Strategies
There is an in-house team responsible for the execution of our SRI policy; they focus on research, engagement and proxy voting.
All UK proxy voting decisions (includes Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man) are taken and executed in-house, signed off by a Fund Manager. We take IVIS (Institutional Voting Information Service) provided by the Investment Association to inform thinking. We have appointed Glass Lewis & Co. to be our sole discretionary research and proxy execution provider in all jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom (including Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man), delegating to it the responsibility for the instruction and execution of international proxy voting at all general and special international company meetings.
The team shares responsibility for company engagement, whether it is in house or in partnership with SRI organisations or other investors.
EdenTree has been involved in various PRI collaborative engagement groups on labour conditions, palm oil sourcing and Arctic drilling. The most recent example is on cybersecurity. EdenTree was present on the advisory committee for the PRI Investor Working Group on Cybersecurity, shaping the engagement project and has since lead the engagement on cybersecurity with four companies on behalf of this group.
Where possible EdenTree also participates in other collaborate engagement initiatives on various topics such as the Living Wage and World Heritage Sites.