For investors to have a real impact on climate change requires tangible, achievable paths to net zero carbon emissions. Igneo Infrastructure Partners’ Sophie Durham explains how this can be achieved through engagement and collaboration with portfolio companies.
Addressing and combating climate change is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. For asset managers, it presents myriad issues but also a wide range of opportunities to invest in forwardlooking companies and assets that can have a real-world positive impact on society and the environment. Igneo Infrastructure Partners – the direct infrastructure investing business owned by First Sentier Investors – began reviewing its climate change policy in 2020 with the aim of being able to demonstrate tangible results from its engagement work with portfolio companies.
Sophie Durham, Managing Director and Head of ESG for Europe at Igneo, recalls that the company’s initial analysis work at a portfolio level soon proved to be limited in terms of actionable outputs, beyond setting net-zero emissions targets. “There has been a lot of criticism of these targets because they can be seen as just ticking a box,” Durham says. “Our whole ESG approach is about focusing on actions and results in portfolio companies. At the same time as setting our net-zero target, we launched Climate Action 1, 2, 3!, which we think is a much more important initiative.”
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