Sustainability spotlight

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

Research papers

IFT paper 1 front cover crop

Investing for tomorrow working group papers

A series of papers written following the research and discussion conducted by the Thinking Ahead Institute’s investing for tomorrow working group. The key objective of this working group is to produce research outputs that can usefully guide investors to establish and set a pathway to achieve their climate ambitions. Beyond this, we hope the outputs help them to become a driving force in transforming the global economy to be compatible with the 1.5C climate target.

A summary of these papers is available here

1.5C working group papers

A series of papers written following the research and discussion conducted by the Thinking Ahead Institute’s 1.5°C investing working group. The key objective of this working group is to produce research outputs that can usefully guide investors’ behaviours to ultimately become a driving force in transforming global economy to be compatible with the 1.5°C climate target while in the same time fulfilling their fiduciary duties.

Sustainability: understanding impact and value creation 

An investors guide to communicating value created

Featuring case studies from seven global investment organisations, this paper provides practical guidelines to help organisations define purpose and document beliefs; measure impact; and communicate the value created for stakeholders.

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: 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: 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

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

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

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.

Duty of ownership

Beliefs to action

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 Diandra Soobiah, Head of Responsible Investment at Nest, and Matt Christensen, Global Head of Impact and Responsible Investment at AXA IM.

A conversation with Jaap van Dam, Principal Director of Investment Strategy at PGGM.

Purpose and value

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 summits

Sustainability and investments

Climate change

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