F&C Investment Trust PLC

Sustainability & ESG

Financial returns matter, but so too does the impact our investments have on society and the environment. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are systematically integrated into F&C Investment Trust’s investment process, with a view to reducing risk and delivering sustainable growth over the longer term.

BMO – a pioneer in responsible investing

Our Manager, BMO, launched Europe’s first ethically screened fund as far back as 1984 and has developed its Responsible Investment capability with a team of over 20 sustainability experts with more than 275 years of collective experience.

ESG that’s not just box-ticking

Responsible investing goes beyond careful stock selection. The Manager has been engaging companies for over 20 years to help drive improvement in ESG practices and influence positive change around the world. Over the past two decades, BMO has engaged more than 5,700 companies, resulting in 4,106 instances of positive change*. In recent years, it has aligned its engagement efforts to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals provide an ambitious roadmap for creating a more sustainable global economy and society by 2030 – from ending poverty to tackling climate change – and provide a useful framework for company engagement.

F&C Investment Trust – ESG engagement in Practice

During 2020, BMOs Responsible Investment team engaged 148 times with the Company’s investee companies. The most common topics for discussion were corporate governance, climate change, labour and environmental standards.

Exercising the right to vote is another way to influence positive change. Voting against management on key resolutions sends a clear signal to companies on the importance of improving their business practices. BMO regularly engages companies before and after voting to explain their expectations and invite comment, and to explain the reasons for any votes against management. With respect to F&C Investment Trust’s investments, in the year to 31 December 2020, BMO voted at 401 meetings of investee companies held in the portfolio. Public details of all BMO’s voting activity, including rationale for votes against management, become available on the website the day after each shareholder meeting here.

Learn more about the Trust’s approach in our latest report and accounts here.

The future of investor engagement

Whilst our Manager has influenced positive change over the past 20 years, there is much more to be done to secure a sustainable future for us all. In the decade ahead, BMO will continue to focus on the achievement of the SDGs, stepping up engagement to tackle key systemic risks such as climate change, biodiversity and social inequality. Find out more here.

Learn more about responsible investing at BMO here.

*As at 31 December 2020

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