Boutique asset manager Unigestion has signed the Montreal Carbon Pledge, an ambitious collaboration between the United Nations-supported Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) and investors from around the world.
The pledge has attracted commitment from over 120 asset owners and investment managers with over USD10 trillion in assets under management.
By signing the pledge, Unigestion commits to measuring and disclosing the carbon footprint of all of its equity pooled funds to help investors better understand, quantify and manage climate change-related impacts, risk and opportunities. Beyond measuring and disclosing its carbon footprint, Unigestion has also implemented enhancements to its equity portfolio construction process that reduce the portfolios’ carbon intensity.
Companies with excessive carbon emissions are categorically excluded and replaced with companies displaying similar characteristics but a lower carbon profile. The net result is more environmentally friendly portfolios that maintain the outperformance and risk reduction properties that are the hallmark of Unigestion.
Furthermore, Unigestion and about 30 other PRI signatories are banding together in a PRI coordinated collaborative engagement with 130 large global corporations suspected of producing excessive carbon footprints that they are not currently reporting. Letters are being sent to these companies urging them to disclose their full and complete carbon footprint to investors.
Eric Cockshutt (pictured), responsible investment coordinator at Unigestion, says: “As a company we are firmly committed to changing attitudes to environmentally sound investing. We believe that low carbon investing does not have to be at odds with performance. Quite the opposite, as only those companies that make a demonstrable effort to reduce their carbon footprint will sustain their attractiveness as a long term investment prospect, making this a crucial component in any investment decision.
“Carbon reduction needs to be a coordinated movement across the investment industry. As carbon footprint reporting becomes an increasingly widespread governance obligation for pension funds, as is already the case in France, we need to do our part as managers in engaging with the companies we invest in on this issue on behalf of our institutional clients.”