Sustainability | ~ 4 min read

How technology makes engagement more collaborative

Finding ways to address the challenges and opportunities facing the world today is key to our mission as sustainable investors. One way we are doing this is through expanding our use of data from company engagements to push for more responsible corporate behaviour.

While putting data at the heart of our strategy for sustainable investing overall, we are taking a similar technology-led approach to our engagement activities.

Our firm-wide sustainability insights engine (SusIE) now includes a dedicated engagement module, which is increasing the transparency of our engagement activities across the investment platform, enhancing our engagement standards and strengthening our engagement reporting infrastructure.

How does it do this? Quite simply, the new module centralises engagement information in one place. Details such as the overall context for engagement, the names of corporate directors and executives contacted, topics discussed with the companies and documents related to the engagement are available – at the touch of a button – for each engagement discussion.

SusIE also captures stewardship outcomes and links them to past engagements with an investee company, adding important perspectives as the engagement progresses over time.

Putting collaboration at the heart of our engagement strategy

The launch of a proprietary engagement module supports our ambition to be a “sustainability shaper” by evolving our dataset to move away from a reliance on purchased data. Instead, we are prioritising proprietary and independent sources.

The module has helped accelerate our engagement strategy with 481 active engagements recorded in 2023 with 374 companies across 32 locations.

Engagement becomes a more collaborative affair: SusIE allows stewardship analysts, portfolio managers and investment analysts across asset classes to record sustainability engagement activities centrally in one place. The ability to link different engagements and follow-up discussions across time allows better coordination and consistent tracking.

As a result, we have enhanced transparency and unlocked the mutual benefits of greater communication between asset classes to deliver results. For example, an equity portfolio manager could initiate an engagement, which is subsequently continued by a credit analyst and concluded by a stewardship analyst – all captured in SusIE.

We continue to develop this technology and we look forward to adding further engagement functionality during the year. This includes an engagement preparation tool, functionality for follow-up planning and enhanced tagging, which will support coordinated engagements across asset classes.

 

Read more about SusIE and our approach to ESG data:

Sustainability data: turning the tide

Data, data everywhere…

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