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Welcome to AXA IM’s guide to Responsible Investing

Responsible investing (RI) is increasingly acknowledged by investors and their stakeholders as fundamental to achieving long-term, sustainable financial goals. We are seeing significant demand from pension funds seeking to incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria into their investment solutions – not only as part of their legal and fiduciary duties, but also in recognition of the financial benefits a more sustainable investment approach can bring.

In such a dynamic, fast-moving area, this pocket guide captures the latest thoughts of AXA IM’s RI experts as well as insights from a range of clients, consultants and industry specialists, for which we are very grateful. We hope it gives you some food for thought.

Responsible Investing Pocket Guide 2016

Part 1: From niche to mainstream

Sunrise - Responsible Investment pictureResponsible investing has come a long way since the early days of ‘ethical investing’ in the 1990s. In this section we chart the evolution and rapid expansion of a once-niche hobbyist backwater to today’s multi-trillion dollar industry. We also focus on how asset owners can drive responsible investment and shine a light on the role active stewardship can play in promoting greater transparency and shareholder rights.

Part 2: Today's RI solutions

Dandelion windy spring pictureFrom Impact investing to integrating ESG factors into a buy and maintain credit strategy, we take a look at the breadth of innovative RI opportunities available to today’s investors. We challenge the perception of a trade-off between ESG considerations and investment returns and explore a case study highlighting the benefits of offering a ‘human capital’ strategy.

Part 3: Looking ahead

Absrtact digital pictureWhere next for responsible investing? In this final section we consider the future challenges we face as a global population and examine how investors can contribute to finding – and funding – the solutions. The historic ‘Paris Agreement’ reached at the COP21 conference provides some cause for optimism as we enter a critical juncture in the struggle against climate change and we discuss the opportunities available from investing in the transition to a low carbon economy.

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