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EdenTree Amity International A (OEIC/Unit Trust)

SRI Style: Ethically Balanced
Fund Type: OEIC/Unit Trust
Region: Global
Asset Type: Equity
Launch Date: 13/09/1999

SRI / Ethical Overview

The Fund aims to achieve long term capital growth with a reasonable level of income through a diversified portfolio of international companies. The Amity International 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. These Funds seek to avoid investment in certain areas such as companies which have a material involvement in alcohol, tobacco and weapon production, gambling and publication of violent or explicit materials.

 

 

SRI / themed / ethical assets under management – overview

  • Fund Size (GBP):   £221.89m as at 31/05/2017
  • Total value of SRI/ethical/environmental/ social/ environmental or sustainability themed funds under management:   £550m as at 31 December 2016
  • Total value of assets covered by responsible ownership policy:   100%
  • Total assets under management:   £2.5bn as at 31/05/2017

 

 

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.
  • Measures positive impacts Find funds that measure the positive effect of their investment decision making on society and/or the environment. (This may involve eg carbon saved or jobs supported.) Managers aim to quantify the benefits they deliver (relative to other strategies or other benchmarks) to ensure they are delivering positive benefiting. This is a new and evolving area. See fund literature for information
  • 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.
  • Nuclear exclusion policy Find ethical funds (and other options) that have a published policy that sets out the fund's position on avoiding or limiting exposure to nuclear power. See fund literature for details of their policy.
  • 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.

SRI Features

  • 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.
  • 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
  • Over 50% small/mid cap Find funds where more than half of the funds' assets are invested in smaller or medium sized companies (ie below around £5 -10 billion).

Corporate Activity

  • 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.

SRI / Ethical Policy

Ethical Approach

 

EIM 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.

 

Positive Screening

 

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.

 

Negative Screening

 

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

• William Oulton – Global Head of Responsible Investments, First State Investments

• George Prescott – ex Ecclesiastical Deputy CEO and CFO, former ABI board member

• Helen Crosby – Sustainability Expert.

• Julie McDowell – Independent Consultant

 

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.

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