Film highlights importance of sustainable investments ahead of COP26

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There has never been a greater urge for the world to come together, both as individuals and corporations, and tackle one of the biggest global threats our humanity faces today – climate change.

As COP26, the United Nation’s 26th annual ‘Conference of the Parties’, fast approaches, ­all eyes will be on global leaders meeting in Glasgow next month to take stock and agree on what further actions need to be taken to protect our environment and meet the commitments made under the 2015 Paris Agreement, to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees.

Among the thousands of delegates expected to take part in the talks will be scientists, NGOs, government representatives, and business leaders. Whilst it is a collective responsibility to ensure we reduce emissions and change the reality of our planet’s future, it is essential that businesses across all sectors step-up and do more to help address Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) issues.

As part of AIMA’s Holding Strong: Alternative Investments in Volatile Markets documentary series, Apex Group spoke to ITN about the important role investment firms play in driving sustainable investments to build a more positive future for society and the environment.

As our Founder and CEO, Peter Hughes, points out: “Everyone has to do something about it. It’s not just about politicians and scientists trying to fix it and everyone washing their hands of the problem, we all have a role to play, and I think particularly in the asset management space, with the deployment of capital, whether it is debt capital or equity capital, that can really make a massive difference.”

With stricter regulatory requirements and greater commitments to transparency expected to fall out of the COP26 summit, investment managers will need to get a clearer picture of their ESG performance, both as a business and across their portfolio companies. Having the right tools to provide accurate and meaningful qualitative and quantitative data, like Apex Group’s new Carbon Footprint Assessment solution, is a key component to firms delivering on those regulatory and fiduciary demands.

As Tom Falcon, a partner at private equity firm Elysian Capital, says in the video: “That has been hugely powerful for us. We’ve gone from a spreadsheet to a full-blown, lifecycle ESG auditing tool. It provides us with the annual monitoring, but also important agenda setting information.”

The call for stronger commitments by governments and industry to ESG policies is not just about the environment component however. The ‘Social’ and ‘Governance’ aspects must not be overlooked and should form an important focal point for the COP26 discussions.

“Too often people only focus on the ‘E’, the environmental piece, but societal, equality and sustainable future for us as a human race, for the financial services industry, we have to focus on those things too,” says Apex Group’s CMO Rosie Guest. “That’s about bringing diversity of thought to the leadership conversations. So different genders, ethnicities, age groups, all contributing to that conversation.”

Apex Group’s purpose is to drive positive change across the financial services space, to support a more sustainable, inclusive and responsible future for the industry. We are proud of our partnership with Eden Reforestation Projects, and our charitable donations to WaterAid and Save the Children

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