Responsible investing is a strategy and practice of incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in one’s investment decisions. It can yield better results in the long run, not just for the investor, but also for the community at large. One of the companies that believe this is AXA, a leading global insurance brand. In recent years, the insurance company has developed a philosophy of ‘responsible investing is also good investing’ as part of its efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The benefits of responsible investing were covered in “From All into All Clean,” a recent webinar organized by AXA in partnership with the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP). The webinar featured the Chief Investment Officers of AXA’s global asset managers, AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) and Architas, who shared their experience in transitioning to a responsible investment approach and the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors they consider in their manager and fund selection process.
Chris Iggo, Chief Investment Officer of AXA IM, said: “We want to invest in companies and in all kinds of different assets that not only deliver a good financial return but also, through their operations, are beneficial to society and to the environment. To us, responsible investing is also good investing. It’s not an additional service but at the core of what we do.”
Responsible investing is part of AXA’s global sustainability strategy that is built around climate action and inclusive protection. AXA assesses the impact of its sustainability strategy in three key areas: as an insurer, as an organization, and as an investor.
As an investor, AXA has committed to reaching €25 billion of assets in green investments by 2023 and to decrease the carbon footprint of its general account assets by 20% by 2025. Its asset managers practice an exclusions-based approach, where certain companies or sectors cannot be held in portfolios, and integrate ESG considerations in their investment processes. AXA has also developed a proprietary ESG research and scoring methodology, which has been applied to over 9,000 partner companies in its database.
“For us, ESG is a criterion that we believe enhances returns,” explained Jaime Arguelles, Architas’ Chief Investment Officer. “We believe that it is essential for us managers to have this integration right now to influence good behavior, and work towards climate change and other criteria of ESG areas.”
“From All into All Clean: How your investments can support sustainable development and climate action” is the second of a three-part webinar series that will run until October. Through the webinars, AXA and the ECCP hope to provide an informative responsible investment platform where local investors can equip themselves with the knowledge needed to become more responsible in their investment decisions and for fund managers to effectively guide them through the whole process.
The third webinar, “The Road to Net Zero: A look inside China’s quest to champion climate action” will be held on October 25 at 4 pm. For the full schedule and to register for the responsible investing webinars, visit the ECCP website at https://www.eccp.com. More information can also be found on the AXA Philippines Facebook page or by visiting the AXA Philippines website at https://bit.ly/AXAECCP_Oct.