City A.M. Awards 2022: Environmental, Social & Governance Award
The City is back, and so are the City A.M. Awards, recognising the best of the Square Mile, Canary Wharf and London’s business community – which has shown shown resilience, innovation and adaptability like never before over the past year. We’re delighted to host what will be a wonderful celebration of the capital’s rebound, but we need your nominations to do it. After months of uncertainty, it’s time to look forward – and say well done to those who came to the fore in the most difficult of circumstances.
Go woke, go broke? It’s not quite that simple as the world wakes up to challenges on everything from the environment to governance in developing countries. These firms are going above and beyond to deliver not just profit, but do it with purpose too.
Greencoat has been investing in renewable techologies before it was cool – and before it became a political imperative. The firm’s wind fund, listed on the stock exchange, beat the market last year by a distance as well as putting the cash in place to fund vital new green energy projects. It’s no surprise that Schroders swept in at the back end of 2021 to acquire a 75 per cent stake
Deliveroo mIght have been the hottest IPO in London last year had it not been for the work of institutional investors flagging ESG concerns around driver welfare and standards. The firm pushed the FCA to ensure the firm was not included in premium indices, but that wasn’t it: LGIM also voted in favour of emissions targets at a host of oil majors and also voted against the re-election of ExxonMobil’s CEO on climate concerns.
Slow to get on the ESG train, Morgan Stanley caught up in a big way in 2021. A significant increase in engagements saw a Latin American bank add female directors and change governance structures, and an Asian drink producer was persuaded to set plastic reduction targets. The firm rounded out the year with the eye-catching hire of Aviva Investors’ Global Head of ESG investment solutions.
Law firms are often at the forefront of ESG problem-solving and Reed Smith are certainly on that list. A host of thought leadership allies with experience advising on a £2bn-plus ESGlinked credit facility for Natwest Markets to put Reed Smith at the front of the queue. Work on ensuring clients are ready for new reporting requirements bolsters their push, too.
ESG investing is in different places in different parts of the world, and StanChart deserve credit for pushing climate and sustainability concerns across the globe. The firm has seen a seven-fold growth in ESG funds offered on its platforms in the last year alone and is increasingly a thought leader on mixing ESG concerns with the need for growth.