ESG portfolios – we set out our stall

Earlier this week, my colleague Dave Chessell blogged about how advisers prefer to offer badged ESG funds to clients.

He also mentioned our new Sustainable World Portfolios Client Guide, which details how our own badged ESG portfolios benefit people and the planet, and why each fund we use was chosen.

Sustainable World invests in funds that put sustainability at the heart of their investment process and focus on companies delivering a clear positive benefit to society through their products, services and business practices.

These funds do this using a combination of three key techniques:

  • Invest in sustainable and impactful companies – Positive Screening
  • Avoid/exclude harmful companies – Negative Screening
  • Improve the companies already invested in – Engagement

We are committed to continually improving the positive impact of the Sustainable World portfolios, although never at the cost of their ability to also achieve strong long-term financial returns.


Because clients will inevitably have lots of questions about the portfolios, the guide includes answers to the ones most likely to be asked. These include:

  • Why don’t the Sustainable World portfolios have more exclusions at the portfolio level?
  • Why do some underlying funds not have explicit exclusionary criteria?
  • Do PortfolioMetrix Sustainable World portfolios have exposure to fossil fuels?
  • Do Sustainable World portfolios have exposure to animal testing?
  • Are Sustainable World portfolios more expensive than other multi-asset portfolios?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of tilting to passive for Sustainable World portfolios?
  • Do I sacrifice returns by investing in ESG?

Impact in Action

The level of research that goes into our Sustainable World portfolios is significant. The investment team are constantly reviewing the types of companies that are owned by the underlying funds.

Here’s one example of a company that ticks our boxes:

Thermo Fisher Scientific (held in WHEB Sustainability Fund)

Thermo Fisher’s mission is “to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer” which they do by developing faster and better diagnostics tests, and more accurate research tools. In doing so, Thermo Fisher supports an array of scientific endeavours from life sciences research to patient diagnostics and therapies, and laboratory productivity.

The company has been at forefront of the fight against COVID-19, being one of the first to mass-produce testing kits (producing 5 million per week in March 2020) and their equipment has also been used to develop vaccines to fight the virus.

Download our Sustainable World Webinar

In our latest webinar, Nic Spicer, our UK Head of Investments and Investment Analyst Oliver Jones, discussed our recently launched Sustainable World Client Guide as well as becoming a UNPRI signatory. The session will be invaluable for any advisers who are keen to learn more about what happens under the bonnet of our dedicated ESG portfolios.

Download Here