ESG frenzy: sustainable fund launches already gathering pace in 2021

by Hannah Smith from interactive investor |

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Sustainability-focused fund launches are continuing to be rolled out to tap into rising demand. 

Asset managers are already starting to roll out new sustainable investing funds this year in response to surging investor demand.

Schroders has added the Global Sustainable Growth fund and the ISF Global Energy Transition fund to its UK sustainable fund range, following on from the launch of the Schroder BSC Social Impact Trust (LSE:SBSI) in December.

Global Sustainable Growth aims to produce capital growth for investors through a portfolio of shares in sustainably run companies that are managed with the interests of wider society in mind.

Global Energy Transition will identify growing opportunities across the clean energy-focused investment universe, spanning renewable power production and energy equipment, transmission and distribution, energy storage, smart grid technologies and electric vehicles.

Schroders’ head of UK intermediary Doug Abbott says the launches give investors access to two high-conviction global portfolios, which use active engagement to improve outcomes for shareholders, society and the environment.

“Although 2020 was a challenging year for economies, investment strategies focused on sustainable companies and renewables performed well. It is clear that UK investors’ attitudes towards allocating to sustainable investments is changing and we are very pleased to continue to grow our range of offerings to UK investors,” he says.

Low-cost sustainable funds

Meanwhile, Invesco has launched the Invesco Summit Responsible Range, made up of five risk-targeted global multi-asset funds. The fund of funds range typically invests in low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to give investors an affordable ESG (environmental, social and governance) focused investment solution.

Invesco says 100% of the funds’ assets will go into investments meeting ESG criteria. They will aim to grow investors’ money over five years-plus while staying in line with their risk targets. 

The range is managed by multi-asset specialists Clive Emery and Richard Batty, alongside deputy fund manager David Aujila.    

Invesco has created customised ESG indices for these funds, in partnership with index providers, and has developed a new Responsible Asset Allocation framework on which the fund range is built.

“We believe everyone should be able to make responsible investment decisions that don’t cost the earth,” says Alexander Millar, the group’s head of UK distribution. “Through active management and our experience and resources across our investment, solutions, ETF and ESG teams, we are able to offer meaningful outcomes to suit a variety of client needs.”

BMO Global Asset Management recently reported a strong debut year for its low-cost responsible investing funds, the Sustainable Universal MAP range.

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