Research

Sustainability hub

Sustainability spotlight  

Thinking Ahead Institute research and publications into the role of sustainability in the investment industry

November 7, 2019

“There are no side effects – just effects… [Side effects] are just a sign that the boundaries of our mental models are too narrow, our time horizons too short” - Professor John Sterman, Director of MIT System Dynamics Group.

Sustainability is becoming an ever-more-important theme for the investment industry – indeed, the ‘slow but unstoppable’ sustainability train has now left the station, and is picking up speed. Sustainability is a subject close to the heart of the Thinking Ahead Institute and we have worked on a number of related initiatives since our beginnings in 2015. Much of our work focuses on equipping investment organisations to have a holistic and actionable understanding of sustainable investing and how they create value for wider stakeholders such as society and the planet. We do this through providing easy to navigate tools and guidelines, enabling better alignment of mission and broadening the focus of measurement.

            

Multimedia   
Beliefs to action  

 

Beliefs to action series with Investec and First state super
 Roger Podcast
A conversation with Lucy Thomas, Head of Investment Stewardship at TCorp and Leon Kamhi, Executive Director: Head of Responsibility at Hermes.A conversation with John Green, Co-CEO of Investec Asset Management and Liza McDonald, Head of Responsible Investment for First State Super.
A conversation with Jaap van Dam, Principal Director of Investment Strategy at PGGM.
 Purpose and value     
 Culture - multi factor diversity Purpose and value webinar series overview
 
We hosted a webinar on 9 May 2019 which looked at purpose and value creation in the investment industry.Marisa Hall shares an overview of research into purpose and value creation in the investment industry.  
Sustainability and investments  
 David HoileAdam Gillett Roger Podcast
David Hoile, Global Head of Asset Research at Willis Towers Watson, talks about defining sustainability and how it compares to other aspects of investment.Adam Gillett, Head of Sustainable Investment for Willis Towers Watson, at the Institute’s Thinking Ahead Breakfast Seminar.Roger Urwin shares his views on how large investment institutions are dealing with the topic of sustainability.
 
Research papers 

 Connecting the dots

 
Connecting the dots: understanding purpose in the investment industry


Exploring the purpose of the investment industry and the agents within it, and how the industry’s value proposition to end savers can be developed and improved.

 Mission critical  
Mission critical: understanding value creation


We propose a vision of what the investment industry should be, and the duty it should take on, and call more stakeholders to the value creation boundary – in particular the planet, and ideally wider society too.

 Sustainability beliefs  

Sustainability beliefs: a new measurement tool

Aiming to help asset owners develop fully-rounded beliefs on sustainability, we include a survey to test benchmark the strength of their beliefs against peers to see if and where they can create an investment edge.

 Sustainability portfolio construction 
Sustainability portfolio construction


This paper focuses on sustainability risk management and portfolio construction, which are the parts investors tend to struggle to apply the most.
 Sustainability portfolio construction case studies 

Sustainability portfolio construction case studies

A series of case studies from the sustainability portfolio construction working group.