As 2022 approaches, it’s time to start thinking of what impactful New Year’s Resolutions we can make in the coming year
Until 31st December, we’ll take a look at each of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and provide further insights into our portfolio SDG mapping, and how we at Path are committed to the goals.
Goal 1 – No Poverty
Working towards a world that includes the end of poverty in all forms, everywhere.
Investment Holding Spotlight: The RBS Social Bond
Investment within our Positive Impact portfolios currently includes exposure to the RBS Social Bond. The proceeds of the bond issue aim to support job creation in the areas of highest need, and therefore working to reduce poverty.
By lending to small businesses in areas of high unemployment, RBS are helping to create employment opportunities in some of the most deprived areas of the UK, and to help individuals retain their jobs due to the increased demand on business supply chains, and in turn leading to increased employment in the wider local economy.
In addition to reducing poverty, the bond issue aims to provide decent work opportunities and increased gender equality across various industries, aligning to not only Goal 1, but Goal 5 (Gender Equality), Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities).
Goal 2 – Zero Hunger
Ending hunger, improving the quality of our food, promoting sustainable farming and agricultural practices and food security for all.
Investment Holding Spotlight: Kerry Group plc
Feeding our planet in a sustainable and healthy way is a huge undertaking, and our portfolios include investment within companies such as Kerry Group, who are dedicated to providing sustainable nutrition solutions.
Already reaching a billion customers, Kerry Group are aiming to double their impact by providing balanced and positive nutrient solutions to a total of 2 billion customers by 2030.
In addition to providing food and beverages that contribute to good health, Kerry Group are also working towards reducing their environmental impact by reducing their carbon emissions, responsible sourcing of 100% of their priority raw materials by 2030, and 100% of their packaging to be reusable, recyclable and compostable by 2025.
Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-Being
Ensuring healthier lives, quality healthcare for all and promote well-being for all ages.
Investment Holding Spotlight: CSL Limited
CSL Limited develop medical products treating serious diseases.
CSL Limited’s core business is in providing human blood plasma products to treat bleeding disorders, rare and serious infections, and autoimmune diseases. They also collaborate with various organisations to promote quality healthcare services and are dedicated to partnerships that promote educational outreach.
CSL provide their services on a global scale across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific, and also offer products that tackle other global diseases such as influenza vaccines and anti-venoms in addition to rarer medical disorders.
They have a very strong track-record of acquiring and improving businesses and have excellent ESG performance and disclosure, making them a strong and impactful holding within our portfolios.
Goal 4 – Quality Education
Learning opportunities for everyone, inclusive and equitable quality education for all.
Investment Holding Spotlight: Pearson plc
Pearson are a British-owned education company who believe better learning experiences lead to better lives in a better world.
Having recently received funding within one of the leading UK social bonds, the bond proceeds will be used to fund connections programs, helping students across the US that may struggle to reach a traditional classroom environment, and GED programs, offering avenues for US students who did not complete high school to further advance their education opportunities.
Funds will also be used to develop BTEC programs in developing countries, and provide vocational qualifications to assist with socioeconomic advancement.
Goal 5 – Gender Equality
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Spotlight on Path Financial: Women in Finance
While we at Path Financial are proud of all of our employees, it makes us even happier that half of our staff are female, in varied roles across the team including management and adviser positions.
Financial services is frequently a male dominated industry to work within with wide gender gaps between women and men, and almost no statistics for other gender identities. With women across the UK often taking a back-seat when it comes to financial planning, visible representation across all areas of our business is important to us, and to the financial services industry as a whole.
As a company, we were set up to shake up the world of finance, from our climate commitments to how we run our business, and we remain committed to ensuring our team is as diverse as it can be with development and leadership opportunities for everyone regardless of gender identity.
Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation
Sustainable management of water and ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all
Investment Holding Spotlight: Evoqua Water Technologies
In 2019, Evoqua reduced water usage by 26% in five of its main locations as well as providing renewable biomass energy solutions to over 5,000 homes per day, via its anaerobic digestive systems.
As a company concerned about preserving a valuable finite resource, Evoqua are heavily aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 for Clean Water and Sanitation, but also pride themselves on meeting other sustainability goals, including health and wellness and reducing strain on freshwater resources with their water reuse and recycling policies.
Their current Anti-Corruption Policy also comes highly rated by various ESG investor rating agencies such as MSCI and Sustainalytics, and they remain committed to increasing a diverse board of directors that includes women and people of colour in all new candidate nominees.
Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy
Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for everyone.
Investment Holding Spotlight: Ørsted
In only 10 years, Ørsted have made the colossal switch from being one of the most coal-intensive companies within Europe to being ranked as the world’s most sustainable energy company for three years running.
While other energy giants play down the need for renewables, or dabble alongside existing fossil fuel revenue, Ørsted have dedicated themselves to sustainability, phasing out all remaining use of coal by 2023 and have ambitions to generate almost 100% of green energy by 2025.
The world’s leading company in offshore wind production, Ørsted achieved an incredible production record of 10 billion kWh in February 2021. It currently produces 86% of its energy from renewable sources such as biomass and wind, working towards decarbonising its supply chain and achieving net-zero carbon neutrality by 2040.
Ørsted’s 2025 carbon reduction targets were approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative – a full two decades ahead of the current targets to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
Decent work for all, promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable work and full and productive employment.
Spotlight on Path Financial: From a Good Job to a Great Job
While there are lots of holdings within our investment portfolios that could easily be mapped against Sustainable Development Goal 8, we’re also proud that we as a company endeavour to offer decent working conditions for all of our employees, including flexible working policies, working from home opportunity and professional development and education opportunities for everyone.
In 2021 we became an Accredited Living Wage Employer and 100% of our staff are paid above the National Living Wage.
We also undertake regular engagement surveys with our employees and can happily report above 90% Employee Satisfaction. Taking good care of the people who work for us means better outcomes for our valued clients.
Goal 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.
Investment Holding Spotlight: Autodesk, Inc
Autodesk have global expertise to support architecture, engineering, construction, design, and manufacturing, aligning themselves with the UN Sustainable Development Goals 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).
They provide valuable technology to their customers who are determined to develop smart and sustainable cities; plan for resilience and adaption to climate change, develop resource efficiency and prioritising projects based on social, environmental and economic impacts.
The Autodesk foundation has also supported entrepreneurs and innovators designing a better world, including paid voluntary time for their employees.
Goal 10 – Reduced Inequalities
Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Investment Holding Spotlight: Lancashire County Council
Investment within our Positive Impact portfolios currently includes exposure to social bonds issuing bond proceeds to Lancashire County Council. The area served by Lancashire County Council is one of the most deprived county councils within the UK.
Raising money through bond issue has provided valuable funding that will go towards protecting the most vulnerable members of the community, while also supporting education services, family support, benefits and social housing options for individuals struggling with potential homelessness.
Local authority budgets have suffered in recent years, and with the pressure of recovery from Covid-19, raising money this way is an effective option for other councils throughout the UK, and likely other councils will appear within our portfolio investment bond options in future.
Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
Making human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Investment Holding Spotlight: Places for People
Places for People are a group of 20 specialist companies dedicated to providing and managing sustainable mixed-tenure housing and building long-term communities, with profits reinvested to provide ongoing social impact to its people.
Each group has varying areas of focus – from general property management (Places for People Homes), supporting the long-term sustainability of neighbourhoods in providing green spaces, training, and educational opportunities (Places for People Neighbourhoods) and committing to sustainable, low-carbon design and construction in new developments (ZeroC).
In addition to providing places that lead to lasting communities, Places for People has alignment to many other secondary UN SDGs – including supporting its social housing tenants with food and emergency essentials throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, setting targets for zero carbon emissions within its supply chain, and employing dedicated teams to assist tenants and members with advice relating to individual finance, digital inclusion and managing energy use in the home.
Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Investment Holding Spotlight: Umicore
Umicore are a global materials and recycling company, with over 70% of their revenue generated from clean mobility and recycling complex waste as part of their Closed-loop business model.
If it can be recycled, Umicore will recycle it! Concentrating on both the sustainable supply chain, and sustainable products and services, Umicore ensure certified ethical origin of their rechargeable battery materials, and protection of human rights in mineral supply from high-risk areas, in addition to powering and researching electro-mobility, recovering 28 metals from their recycling activities, and turning industrial waste into value.
Goal 13 – Climate Action
Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Spotlight on Path Financial: The UK’s First Climate Change IFA
We are believed to be the first UK IFA set up with the sole purpose of tackling climate change, and to make a positive difference in the world rather than focusing on performance and profit alone.
Our commitment to fighting climate change has gone even further this year with the launch of our Climate Solutions investment portfolio, timed to coincide with COP26. We are already seeing significant interest in our Climate Solutions portfolio offering, a deep-green UK first that is not only aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but offers superior investment returns.
It’s the perfect opportunity for those clients who want environmental focus as a key part of their investment strategy and the knowledge that their pensions and investments are fighting the climate emergency.
Goal 14 – Life Below Water
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Investment Holding Spotlight: Deere & Co
Modern agricultural practices are responsible for fertilisers and other pesticides leaking into our waterways and negatively impacting on aquatic life.
In addition, most large scale agriculture has been linked to climate change and biodiversity loss. But we still need agriculture in order to ensure the world is fed and need sustainable solutions in how we produce our food.
Deere & Co manufacture heavy agricultural machinery, which may not immediately seem at home within a Positive Impact portfolio. However, their field optimisation and spraying technology has seen a significant reduction in both fuel, fertiliser and herbicide use across numerous farmed acres, reducing the impact on vulnerable ecosystems, while also reducing consumption of natural resources and ensuring agriculture can be efficient and sustainable.
Goal 15 – Life on Land
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity.
Investment Holding Spotlight: Beyond Meat
More individuals are switching to a plant-based diet, and we’ll surely see more companies like Beyond Meat in our portfolios in future.
Developing pork, poultry and beef alternatives, Beyond Meat are protecting valuable resources on land whilst providing nutritious food options that are better for our health, and reducing the impact on our environmental and ecosystems that have been caused by modern agricultural practices.
By providing vegan food options, Beyond Meat hit a number of other UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as Zero Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, Climate Action and Good Health and Well Being.
Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Spotlight on Path Financial: Aiming For High Standards
UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 concentrates on global governance, promoting peace and ending violence. Within this remit, effective and transparent institutions and governments are also key.
The importance of effective institutions extends to the world of finance too. Ongoing regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority is essential in establishing a finance industry that is reliable and has investors best interests at heart.
Beyond our regulatory commitments, we’re also mid-way through our application for our B Corp Certification, to further reassure our valued clients that our business meets the highest standards of environmental and social performance and providing positive impact for our employees, our customers, the community and the environment.
Goal 17 – Partnership for the Goals
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
Spotlight on Path Financial: YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION!
Mapping our lives to the UN Sustainable Development Goals makes for an impactful New Year’s Resolution. We can be greener – in who we choose to provide our energy, in the food that we eat, the vehicles we drive, the charities we donate to, and the products that we buy.
But many of us don’t realise that our personal finances, be it our bank accounts, investments and personal pensions, could be propping up industry and companies that are contributing to climate change and exploitative industry.
By switching the investments within your personal pension, you could have 21 times more impact than your other environmental commitments alone. Our investment portfolios are mapped and designed around companies aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, investing within industries that will ensure a better tomorrow for everyone.
At Path, we take the hard work out of greening your finances, with an expert financial planning partnership tailored to your financial goals – and your personal values.