Commitment to responsible investing

We believe that by investing in companies which operate with high standards of corporate responsibility we can protect and enhance investment returns for our clients.

Through our rigorous bottom-up research process we gain an in-depth understanding of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues at a company level before they escalate and potentially threaten the value of our clients’ investments.

A+ rated by UNPRI

We have been a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) since 2012.

We are proud of our ratings - in 2017 we scored A+ in Strategy & Governance and for our fixed income strategies and maintained our A rating for both equity strategies.

Source: UN Principles for Responsible Investment - ‘Overall Strategy &Governance 2017’

Our ESG Scorecard (from A+ rating above)

 

Module 2017 Fidelity Score 2017 Median 2016 Fidelity Score 2016 Median
Strategy & Governance A+ A A B
Listed Equity - Incorporation A A A A
Listed Equity - Active Ownership A B A B
Fixed Income - Corporate Non-Financial A+ B A+ C
Fixed Income - SSA A+ B A+ C
Fixed Income - Corporate Financial A+ B A+ C
Fixed Income - Securitised A+ E A+ E

 

Source: UNPRI

760+ companies actively engaged in 2017

In 2017, we engaged with more than 760 companies on issues such as governance and remuneration, board composition, capital structure and environment and social issues.

As significant investors in many companies, we believe it is our duty to encourage companies to act in the best interest of shareholders and our environment - for better investment outcomes for our clients. We have engaged with companies on issues such as:

  • Bribery and corruption
  • Lack of board integrity and competence
  • Misaligned remuneration
  • Shareholder rights
  • Data breaches/cyber security
  • Corporate failings
  • Climate change/risk

Voted at 3,700+ shareholder meetings

In 2017 we voted at more than 3,700 shareholder meetings, voting against management in nearly a third of cases to protect the rights of investors.

For our full voting record, please visit here.

ESG is part of our investment process

There are four important inputs into how we analyse ESG for each company that we research - our analysts, our specialist ESG team, external research and our portfolio managers who actively consider ESG in their investment decisions.

Related insights

ESG in real estate - how green is your castle?

Unlike investments in stocks and bonds, real estate represents a tangible, physical ownership of land or property and as such fund managers can have more control over the E, S and G aspects of their investments.

Pulling away: Inequality as an ESG risk

In this essay we briefly examine the current state of wealth distribution, its causes and the emerging threats to the status quo, to show why inequality is turning into an important sustainability risk - both at a macro and company level.

Avoiding ‘cybergeddon’: ESG risk in an interconnected world

Cybersecurity and data protection are rapidly emerging as some of the biggest environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks for companies to manage.

An evolution of ESG at Fidelity

We are continually striving for enhanced ESG policies and integration into our investment process. In 2017:

Further progress was made in promoting Fidelity’s long-term incentive plans share retention guidelines with most UK companies now having a minimum share retention period of 5 years for shares granted to top executives.

Our analysts continued their research on climate change and the impact of future increase in carbon price on certain industries.

Fidelity became a named supporter of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Analysts are explicitly required to comment on ESG issues when a company has a poor ESG rating or when it has faced a severe controversy.

Contributing to global standards

We participate in the debate over the development of appropriate standards for responsible investment through our membership in various forums including:

  • Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA)
  • Corporate Governance Forum
  • Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)
  • International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)
  • The Investor Forums (in both Japan and the UK)
  • UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF)
  • Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO)
In addition, we are signatories to the UK Stewardship Code and the Japanese Stewardship Code.

FAQs

What is responsible investing?

The UNPRI defines responsible investment as an approach that aims to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions, to better manage risk and generate sustainable, long-term returns. At Fidelity, responsible investment is an integral part of our investment process.

What does ESG stand for?

ESG stands for Environment, Social and Governance. Analysing ESG factors can be a key way to assess the sustainability and social impact of an investment in a company or a business. Examples of ESG issues include energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, supply-chain risk management, gender diversity, employee productivity, independent board leadership and CEO compensation.

What were Fidelity’s main activities in ESG over 2017?

The 2017 Responsible Investment Report details the activities of our specialist Environmental, Social and Governance team over the year. Click here to view this report.

Who are the PRI?

The PRI works with its international network of signatories to put six Principles for Responsible Investment into practice. Its goals are to understand the investment implications of environmental, social and governance issues and to support signatories in integrating these issues into investment and ownership decisions.

The six Principles were developed by investors and are supported by the UN. They have more than 1,750 signatories from over 50 countries representing US$70 trillion of assets.

In 2016, Fidelity's score in Strategy and Governance increased to A+ and we maintained our A ratings on all equity modules, and scored A+ for our fixed income modules.

What are the PRI’s six Principles?

  1. We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  2. We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership practices.
  3. We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  4. We will promote acceptance and implementation of the principles within the investment industry.
  5. We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the principles.
  6. We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the principles.

What is active ownership?

Active ownership is about using our voting rights and our influence as an investor to improve the long-term value of a company. As stewards of our clients’ money we believe we have an important role to play in improving the governance of the companies in which we invest – helping companies become better companies. We engage directly with companies to encourage good governance and sustainable corporate practices.

You can find more detailed information in our Responsible Investment Policy (PDF).

What external ESG-related bodies does Fidelity participate in?

Members of Fidelity’s are involved in a wide number of external and collaborative ESG-related bodies globally.

These include the Chairmanship of the Investment Association’s Governance and Engagement Committee, representation on the Code Committee of the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers, the Companies Committee of the Confederation of British Industry and the International Corporate Governance Network’s remuneration committee.

Fidelity is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment, the UK Stewardship Code, the Japanese Stewardship Code, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission Principles of Responsible Ownership and the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s Stewardship Principles for Institutional Investors.

We are also active members of the Asian Corporate Governance Association, the Association of British Insurers, the Corporate Governance Forum, Assogestioni, the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, the Investor Forums in both Japan and the UK, the European Fund and Asset Management Association Responsible Investment Working Group, the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development and many other trade and industry bodies around the world.

How does Fidelity integrate ESG factors into their investment decision?

Consideration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues is an integral part of our investment decision-making process for all Fidelity funds.

ESG analysis is carried out at analyst level within the equity, fixed income, real estate and multi-asset teams and our portfolio managers are also active in analysing the potential effects of these factors when making investment decisions.

Our specialist ESG team, who sit within our global investment team, ensures Fidelity continues to be at the forefront of developing ESG trends and issues emerging globally.

Fidelity’s internal analysis is complemented by extensive external research and ratings analysis.

Does Fidelity have an Exclusion List and if so what does it cover?

Fidelity has a Cluster Munitions and Anti-personnel Landmines (CM & APL) Exclusion List based on guidance from international conventions and supranational bodies. The CM & APL Exclusion list has been formulated using a third party ESG screening product with input from our internal research team. It includes those issuers who actually use, stockpile, manufacture and/or produce Cluster Munitions and Anti-Personnel Mines.

How many companies are on the Exclusion List?

The Exclusion List currently includes 17 publicly listed companies and 19 private companies within eligible investment jurisdictions.

How often is the Exclusion List reviewed?

The Exclusion List is reviewed every 6 months.

What is your policy on carbon emissions?

Climate change and carbon emissions exposure is consistently monitored across our funds and we incorporate these factors into our investment analysis across sectors where it is material. From our research process, we often and consistently engage with companies on their exposure to carbon and their strategy to deal with climate change.

Does Fidelity offer funds specifically tailored for ESG? (for CE & UK only )

The Fidelity FIRST ESG All Country World fund utilises Fidelity’s extensive in-house research aiming to achieve long-term capital growth by focusing on companies that maintain strong environmental, social and corporate governance credentials.

In particular, it aims to deliver a portfolio with an attractive ESG profile, higher average ESG score and a lower weighted average carbon intensity compared to that of the broader market.

Can Fidelity offer an ESG solution to institutional clients?

We can tailor portfolios for our institutional clients to reflect specific ESG themes or restrictions and we welcome the opportunity to discuss your particular requirements.

1Average ESG score is defined as the weighted average MSCI Final Industry Adjusted Score of fund holdings. ©2017 MSCI ESG Research LLC Reproduced by permission.

2Weighted Average Carbon Intensity is defined as the weighted average of the amount of Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 emissions per $1million of sales of fund holdings.

The UK Stewardship Code

We are a signatory of the UK Stewardship Code and we have received an independent assurance opinion on our stewardship & voting processes.

Our Voting record

We update our voting record on a quarterly basis setting out how we cast our vote at each company meeting.