Maple-Brown Abbott rebrands Responsible Investment fund

maple brown abbott emma pringle responsible investment sustainable investing

6 April 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Maple-Brown Abbott has changed the screening process for its Responsible Investment fund to allow a greater focus on sustainability, renaming it Australian Sustainable Future Fund.

The $35 million fund, managed by head of ESG, Emma Pringle, and co-manager Chris Hotop, invested in 25 to 40 companies and was certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA).

The Responsible Investment fund was first launched in 2009, but the decision had been taken to rebrand it and change the investment process.

This would now see it play an “active role in supporting positive outcomes for people and the planet”. 

This included changing the screening process to include positive screens that target positive impact in a number of “sustainable future” goals and enhancing the negative screen. It was also more closely aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

A negative screen was first applied to exclude businesses with material involvement in activities that detracted from a sustainable future, while a positive screen limited the investment universe to those that made meaningful positive contributions to the fund’s sustainable investment themes. 

Sophia Rahmani, chief executive of Maple-Brown Abbott, said: “We believe we can help deliver a positive impact by supporting companies we consider to be making a positive difference by giving them access to capital they need to invest, by not supporting those that hinder social progress, and by engaging with companies to influence their behaviour. We also believe that this doesn’t have to come at the expense of strong financial returns”.
Pringle said: “When assessing companies, we consider the degree to which revenue is derived from products and services that support our sustainable investment themes. We also assess a company’s future ability to support those themes, recognising that to be truly sustainable, we need to consider the needs of both present and future generations.

"This is particularly evident in investing for a low-carbon future, for example, where the needs of an energy system in transition will be different in the future than they are today."

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