A threat to ESG rigour amid rush to “claim compliance”


Will the sustainable investing sector be able to solve the world’s problems alone? WHEB’s fund manager Ted Franks’s gives his view in this article, which also discusses the danger of declining ESG quality as investors claim compliance.  To read the article, a subscription is needed.


Can listed assets really be called impact investments is a question we often have to answer. It is true that direct investments have a clear advantage in being able to highlight additionality and represent intentionality.  However, at WHEB we firmly believe that investing in public companies can still have a positive impact on the environment and society. John Treadgold, an Australian journalist who specialises in impact investing, sustainability and ESG, and WHEB’s fund manager Ted Franks, discuss this issue plus much more in this thoughtful interview.


Engagement with the companies we invest in is an essential part of being an impact investor. We wanted to highlight one of our engagement case studies at our Annual Investor Conference in June. Writing for Good with Money, Christine Dawson reports on this session with portfolio company Lenzing, an Austrian fibre manufacturer.


The FP WHEB Sustainability Fund was one of the first impact investment strategies in listed equities. In this interview with Tim Nixon from Thomson Reuters, WHEB’s Seb Beloe discusses our approach to impact investing and what makes us different.


ESG data has become focused on a company’s operations rather than the products and services it provides. This approach hinders its usefulness in assessing a company’s impact and real world value. WHEB’s Head of Research, Seb Beloe, explains this point of view in an article by Peter Cripps from Environmental Finance written on 24th May on the publication of our fourth Impact Report. To read the article, a subscription is needed.


When will sustainable and impact investing become the norm? Seb Beloe discusses the idea of an “Overton Window”, the range of ideas tolerated in public discourse. Is there an opportunity for sustainable investing to just be accepted as normal, rather than an alternative way to invest, as it arguably was considered even a year ago? Good With Money’s article, written by Rebecca O’Connor, also analyses the evolution of impact reporting and measurement in response to the launch of WHEB’s latest ground-breaking Impact Report.


In IPE’s “Special Report: Impact Investing”, Susanna Rust recognises WHEB Asset Management as one of the ‘original’ impact investment firms and highlights WHEB’s impact calculator from last year as being one of the first of its kind.  Seb Beloe, WHEB’s Head of Research, is also noted for questioning whether the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are truly suitable as an investment framework in a blog two years ago. This debate has since become increasingly relevant as so many new products are being launched making claims to incorporate the SDGs.

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