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Stewart Investors

What do we mean by sustainability? We define sustainability as positive longevity, and sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In order to tackle the challenge of sustainable development, both developed and developing countries will have to shift from a resource-intensive, consumption-driven, debt-dependent model of development and growth towards a more sustainable one. This means using natural and financial resources wisely and in a way that promotes long-term economic, social and personal wellbeing. How do we apply this idea to investment? We take a bottom-up, company-focused approach to sustainable investment. We look for good quality companies (management, franchise and financials) that are well positioned to meet the challenge of sustainable development and contribute towards achieving it in the countries in which they operate, be they developed or developing. We have a strong conviction that such companies face fewer risks and are better placed to deliver positive long term returns to shareholders. The investment objective of our sustainability funds is to generate attractive long-term, risk-adjusted returns for our clients by investing in companies involved in sustainable goods and services, responsible finance and required infrastructure. We are not passive investors. We recognise there is no such thing as a perfect company and believe positive engagement plays an important part in improving shareholder value and protecting the value of our client portfolios over the long-term. We engage actively with company management on a wide range of issues including alignment of interests, governance, reputation, strategy and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. What do we not mean by sustainable investment? We do not screen in clean tech or green-themed companies, nor do we screen out particular sectors and companies on moral or ethical grounds. Although we do not do any formal negative screening, we are unlikely to invest in companies operating in high risk sectors such as gambling and tobacco because their long-term sustainability positioning is poor.
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