About us

Responsible investment

Integral to our investment philosophy

Responsible investment (RI) has long been integral to our investment research and decisions and our approach to business more broadly. The rationale for responsible investment is clear: companies with sustainable business models that look to the future have more potential to deliver value to all stakeholders, including shareholders. As a founding signatory of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), responsible investment has been an established pillar of our business for well over a decade.

  • At the heart of our RI approach is a strong research capability embedded within our investment process
  • Our research is supported by proprietary RI ratings that enable us to assess material ESG risks and opportunities for over 8,000 companies worldwide
  • As active managers, engagement is key and we have a strong record in influencing positive change through stewardship and voting
  • We have a solid culture of collaboration that underpins our research and investment approach
  • We offer a range of dedicated RI strategies, including our innovative Social Bond franchise, for clients seeking to more actively promote ESG factors or achieve specific sustainable outcomes
PRI rating

At Columbia Threadneedle Investments, we strive to be responsible stewards of our clients’ assets, allocating their capital within our framework of robust research and good governance. The integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations within our research builds a fuller picture of the risks and future return prospects of all investment opportunities.


A deep research base
We believe responsible investment research is fundamental research. We conduct original, independent, forward-looking research that aims to drive consistent long-term returns for our clients.
Our portfolio managers consider the additive insights of ESG factors when judging the sustainability and long-term value creation of portfolio companies. Integrating these ESG factors into our investment process helps them make broader-based investment decisions.
Our proprietary RI ratings reflect our data-driven, evidence-based approach and provide our investment team with a robust responsible investment framework to assess ESG material risks and opportunities for over 8,000 companies worldwide. In addition to proprietary analytics, our RI analysts also conduct independent thematic sustainability research that provides investment insight across multiple sectors – providing a more holistic view of investment opportunities.
RI factors
Collaboration enhances decision-making
Our dedicated RI analysts are integral to our global research team and share the same reporting line. Our research culture is embedded in our equity, fixed income, real estate, macro, and data science teams who continuously collaborate and share insights throughout the firm. This collaboration makes our investment decisions and stewardship activities more informed and makes it easier to identify material opportunities and risks that protect the clients’ interests and the capital they entrust to us.

Identifying opportunities: A thematic approach

In addition to the quantitative rating, our RI analysts also conduct a qualitative analysis of companies, sectors and themes concerning ESG and other sustainability considerations. We focus on a subset of eight of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) that we deem the most material to investments. Our thematic research explores investor topics such as energy transition, human capital development, and carbon policy. This thematic research is always investment-focused and highlights risks and opportunities for sectors and companies from an RI perspective.
A thematic approach
View our latest Responsible Investment Quarterly report here:


Q4 2021 RI Report
View previous reports:


Q3 2021 RI Report


Q2 2021 RI Report


Q1 2021 RI Report

Proprietary Ratings

Proprietary RI analytics: assessing material risks and opportunities
As an active manager, we must consider factors that pose a risk to clients’ assets – or increase their value.
In operation since 2018, our proprietary ratings equip our investment team with a robust ESG framework and enhanced analysis of over 8,000 companies around the world. The ratings help identify and assess potentially material risks and opportunities beyond what can be captured by conventional analysis – making them a crucial part of our fundamental research toolkit.

These proprietary ratings are built on two models:

  • Financial Stewardship: This combines four separate [academic] frameworks that measure prudent, long-term financial governance to identify well-managed businesses. These frameworks offer insight into whether corporate governance is working in practice.
  • ESG Materiality: Companies that manage ESG risks are better placed to address future challenges, avoid technical and social obsolescence, and capitalise on both known and unknown business opportunities. As society, markets, and government regulations rapidly evolve, the companies that lead on the most financially material industry ESG metrics should be well-placed to mitigate risks, build competitive advantage and sustain their business in the long term.
The two models’ outputs are combined to produce an overall responsible investment rating, from 1 to 5. Our ratings are expressed on a relative basis and updated daily, so a change in an issuer’s rating is highly insightful in our investment research and portfolio construction. We believe it is prudent to focus equally on the level of a company’s quality today and its trajectory over time – both can affect investment returns.
Climate transition risk is an important factor considered by our research analysts. We measure the carbon pathway and adaptability of companies in the context of climate change. Our analysts will also look at operational controversies. They will investigate any potential breaches of a company’s alignment with international benchmarks, such as the UN Global Compact, the International Labour Organisation core labour standards and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. If appropriate we also seek to measure the alignment of companies to the UNSDGs. Combined these factors may give an insight into the effectiveness of a company’s risk management oversight when it comes to sustainability.



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CT(LUX) Annual Report and Financial Statements


In Credit Weekly Snapshot – 25 April 2022


Powering change

Our stewardship activities intensify our understanding of our exposure to risks and opportunities that bear on our ability to deliver sustainable long-term value creation for clients.
We comply with several stewardship codes around the globe, including the Investor Stewardship Group (ISG) Principles. We became a signatory to the UK Stewardship Code in 2012. We are currently in the process of preparing our initial submission for the UK Stewardship Code 2020.
Engagement: adding to investment insights across all asset classes
We engage to gain deeper research insights, build relationships with companies and influence for change. We believe engagement enhances research and investment: it detects inflection points and long-term trends; it influences companies’ standards of ESG risk management and sustainability.
When deciding whether or not to engage, we consider various factors including:
  • the material significance of an issue to the company
  • the risk to our clients
  • the size of our holding
  • our opportunity to collaborate
  • and our ability to effect change
We set clear objectives ahead of each engagement meeting and track them on a regular basis. We disseminate globally throughout the firm the research and analysis emerging from this monitoring.

Proxy voting: making our clients’ voices heard

We vote actively at company meetings. We view this as one of the most effective ways of signalling approval (or otherwise) of a company’s governance, management, board, and strategy and an active way to drive positive change. We carry out voting for our clients in all markets, voting for all our funds and for those clients who delegate authority to us. We vote in consideration of all relevant factors to support the best economic outcome in the long-run. 

Each year we cast proxy votes on approximately 6,500 shareholder meetings across 70 countries.


Columbia Threadneedle Investments Voting Rationales 2020


Columbia Threadneedle Investments Voting Rationales 2021

Climate change

Evolving climate insights
We consider climate in both our research and our stewardship – including engagement and voting. We prioritise climate change issues that are material to our investments. For example, climate issues are financially material to the utility, fossil fuel and chemical sectors, so we appraise climate change in particular detail in these cases.
When examining climate change and material climate risks, we draw on the materiality framework developed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the disclosure standards consistent with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). We also work with the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), a non-profit that helps companies report their environmental impact.
Climate change
Also, we continue to develop tools and analytics to improve our research on material climate risk. Including:
  • Water stress exposure and physical risk analysis. We are investigating new data sources that might enable a more granular analysis of corporate risk. We are interested in assessing the exposure of facilities and operations to physical climate risk. This includes tropical storms, wildfires, flood risks and more incremental sea-level increases.
  • Scope 3 Emissions. Until recently, our analysis has focused on Scope 1 & 2 emissions, however, we have begun looking at companies’ exposure to Scope 3 emissions to help inform our Emission Trajectory Analysis.
  • Dynamic adaptation analytics. The standard way of assessing portfolio exposure to carbon emissions and climate change is through static exposure-based measures that do not consider how well companies might adapt to climate change. Responding to this, we are working on economic models that enable a more forward-looking analysis of companies’ adaptation capability.
  • Climate Value at Risk Modelling. Building on work from the London School of Economics, we are developing a climate Value At Risk (VAR) model, combining top-down macro with bottom-up fundamental analysis, to create a notional VAR number. For example using property, plant and equipment (to reflect the scope of potential capex). One possible approach is to show materiality through a cash flow-based VAR.

We are a Signatory Participant to Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) It is a collaborative engagement program of over 615 investors with more than USD $55 trillion in AUM*. The initiative seeks to ensure that the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. It has been highlighted as one of 1 key global initiatives to tackle climate change. Investor signatories to CA100+ engage companies on improving climate change governance, cutting emissions and strengthening climate-related financial disclosures.

We are Signatory to the [UN Aligned] Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative. The Initiative aims to galvanise the asset management industry to commit to a goal of net zero emissions and to play their part (as an investor in their own organisation) to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement and a Just Transition. We support the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and we support investing aligned with this goal.
* Source: Climate Action 100+ November 2021

RI Strategies

Research intensity identifying sustainable solutions
Sustainability is increasingly important to investors. Many are looking to invest their money in a way that aligns with their values and to drive positive change in society and the environment. We offer a range of dedicated responsible investment strategies across assets classes to meet specific sustainability preferences.
Research intensity identifying sustainable solutions including RI Informed, RI Tilt, RI Promotion and RI Sustainable Outcomes

Industry collaborations

Signatories and affiliations: Coalitions to promote RI

We promote the value of responsible investing by taking part in industry working groups and initiatives.
We also demonstrate our commitment to responsible investing by being signatories to various codes and groups, including:
  • The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). We were a founding signatory in 2006. Which means that responsible investment has been an established pillar of the business for well over a decade.
Signatory of PRI logo
  • We are a Signatory Participant to Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) It is a collaborative engagement program of over 615 investors with more than USD $55 trillion in AUM*. The initiative seeks to ensure that the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. It has been highlighted as one of 12 key global initiatives to tackle climate change. Investor signatories to CA100+ engage companies on improving climate change governance, cutting emissions and strengthening climate-related financial disclosures.
  • We are Signatory to the [UN Aligned] Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative. The Initiative aims to galvanise the asset management industry to commit to a goal of net zero emissions and to play their part (as an investor in their own organisation) to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement and a Just Transition. We support the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and we support investing aligned with this goal.
  • The UK Stewardship Code 2020. This Code, maintained by the UK’s Financial Reporting Council, sets high stewardship standards for those investing money on behalf of UK savers and pensioners, and those that support them. Stewardship is the responsible allocation, management and oversight of capital to create long-term value for clients and beneficiaries leading to sustainable benefits for the economy, the environment and society. Columbia Threadneedle supports this code and we were a signatory to the 2012 Stewardship code.

    We submitted our report to the Financial Reporting Council in April 2022 to maintain our signatory status under the 2020 code and are awaiting feedback. Therefore we are not a current signatory to the 2020 code.
  • Investor Stewardship Group. This US network of investors and asset managers promotes good practice in stewardship and corporate governance.
ISG logo
  • UK Women in Finance Charter. We were the first asset manager signatory. Signatories support the advancement of women in financial services. They also set targets and implement strategies appropriate to their organisation and report on progress against these targets.
* Source: Climate Action 100+ November 2021
Initiatives: delivering benefits

We have collaborated on various thematic and policy initiatives, including:

  • The introduction of green gilts in the UK. The idea of a green gilt builds on the growing issuance of environmental and social sovereign bonds around the globe. It marks an important step forward in the development of the global green bond market by showing how the money raised can simultaneously deliver environmental benefits, reduce inequality and help us build back better.
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  • EU Sustainable Finance Reforms. We participate heavily in industry working groups that review and respond to the EU consultations.
  • UK Pre-emption Group. This group has developed special guidance facilitating effective capital raising during the Covid crisis.
1 April 2022

Investment team updates - Market updates 1 April 2022

Latest news from around the investment desks.
Read time - 3 min
29 March 2022

Pauline Grange & Jess Williams

Portfolio Manager, Global Equities & Portfolio Analyst, Responsible Investment

Global Sustainable Outcomes - News & Views Q4 2021

Pauline Grange, Portfolio Manager, and Jess Williams, Portfolio Analyst, take a look at 2021 as a whole from a responsible investment point of view – from the COP26 conference and country and region responses to the climate crisis, to ongoing fossil fuel use and net-zero issues.
Read time - 12 min
23 March 2022

Responsible Investment Quarterly - Q4 2021

View the RI team's report from the fourth quarter of 2021
Read time - 15 min
4 March 2022

Investment team updates - Market updates 4 March 2022

Latest news from around the investment desks.
Read time - 3 min
7 February 2022

Responsible investment: themes to look out for in 2022

Our RI Research and Stewardship Team look at the key themes they think will be in play as we go through 2022, and the opportunities and challenges that will arise within them.
Read time - 5 min
9 December 2021

Pauline Grange & Jess Williams

Portfolio Manager, Global Equities & Portfolio Analyst, Responsible Investment

Global Sustainable Outcomes - News & Views Q3 2021

We look at the economic consequences of shutting down the world and then hitting the restart button; as well as the issue of increasing water scarcity around the globe and the social and economic costs of finding solutions to this.
Read time - 12 min

Understanding the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulations (SFDR)

The European Commission has a Sustainable Growth Action Plan that sets out to deliver on three objectives:

To re-orientate capital flows towards sustainable investments

To mainstream sustainability into risk management processes

To foster transparency and long-termism

The action plan is far reaching, across all aspects of the financial services landscape. It is touching us, the Asset Management community, and our clients.

To help meet these objectives, the European Union introduced the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (commonly referred to as SFDR) which sets out common European rules to encourage greater transparency of sustainability-related information for financial products. 

The changes, first introduced in March 2021 are being phased in with the initial requirement being for Asset Managers to disclose how they integrate sustainability risk into their investment management process. The regulations apply specifically to our SICAV range domiciled in the European Union as well as segregated mandates across asset classes. While the requirement to integrate sustainability risks only applies to our SICAV range we have decided to extend this approach to our UK managed funds and segregated accounts.

Roadmap for implementation

Roadmap for implementation
Categorising products according to their emphasis on sustainability
As part of the reforms, SFDR has also developed a new framework for categorising financial products, distinguishing how sustainability factors are used in the investment and portfolio construction process.

Article 6

Products that integrate sustainability risk into the investment and risk management process.

Article 8

Products that promote environmental or social characteristics with the investee companies demonstrating good governance practices.

Article 9

Products that have a specific and measurable sustainable investment objective.

All of our SICAVS have been categorised according to these Articles and we evidence this with disclosures in our pre-contractual literature and on our website, as well as reporting on ESG factors on our Fund Factsheets.
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Strong EM heritage
Demonstrating that we reward sustainability
We have updated our remuneration policy to demonstrate how and when pay is linked to sustainability objectives.
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Disclosing the impact our investments have on the environment and society

We will begin disclosing the impacts that our investments have on the environment and society, as well as the actions we are taking to mitigating these impacts, when the Principle Adverse Impacts reporting framework goes live.

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Building out our responsible investments range
We currently have 15 funds falling within Article 8 SFDR categorisation. We are committed to further evolving our RI product range and have a three-phase plan underway which we aim to complete by mid-2022, pending regulatory approvals.
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Greater transparency for Clients
We welcome regulatory initiatives that improve disclosure and transparency and believe the development of ESG-related frameworks will benefit clients. The new regulations will help support consistent and effective standards across our industry and across investment markets, supporting sustainable environmental and social outcomes.
EU Taxonomy – a global standard for determining environmental sustainability
In addition to the Articles the European Union has developed a classification system which is expected to become a global standard for determining whether an economic activity can be considered environmentally sustainable. We will make further disclosures in line with the SFDR Regulatory Technical Standards and the EU Taxonomy by the relevant implementation deadlines.

Policies and Disclosures

View our policies:


Responsible investment – Global policy and approach


2020 PRI Assessment Report for Columbia Threadneedle Investments


Stewardship principles and approach

View our disclosures:


Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation – Articles 3 & 5


Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation – Article 4



Adverse impact

The main, potential negative effects on sustainability factors in investments based on criteria defined by European regulators.

Aggregate sustainability risk exposure

The overall sustainability risk faced by a company or portfolio, taking account of a range of issues such as climate risk and ESG factors.



Best-in-class strategies try to make their portfolios better on ESG issues and/or carbon characteristics by excluding certain investments deemed negative in that respect or including certain investments deemed positive in that respect.


Carbon footprint

The carbon emissions and carbon intensity of a portfolio, compared with its investment universe (benchmark). The benchmark might be, for example, companies in the FTSE 100.

Carbon intensity

A company’s carbon emissions, relative to the size of the business. This allows investors to compare the company’s carbon efficiency with its competitors’.

Climate risk

The risk that an investment’s value could be harmed by climate issues such as global warming, energy transition and climate regulation. Investors normally assess climate risk by looking at carbon footprint data, climate adaptation risk, physical risk and stranded assets.

Climate adaptation risk

See Transition Risk.


A company’s operational failures or everyday practices that have severe consequences for workers, customers, shareholders, wider society and the environment. Examples are poor employee relations, human rights abuses, failure to follow regulations, and pollution. Controversies help to indicate the quality of a company.

Corporate governance

The way that companies are organised and led. We look at how well companies are sticking to good practices set out in Corporate Governance Codes, which vary from country to country. Corporate governance is also part of the ‘G’ in ESG. In this context Governance may focus on the operational and management practices relating to social and environment aspects of the business.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

A company’s approach to (and engagement with) its stakeholders and the communities it operates in, reflecting its responsibility towards people and planet.



The reduction of the carbon emissions associated with a region, country, industry or organisation. It can also refer to the reduction of the carbon emissions associated with a fund’s investments.


The opposite of investment. In other words, either reducing or exiting an investment. We divest if we think the potential risks of investing in a company outweigh the potential returns. This may be because we have lost confidence in a company’s leadership, strategy, practices or prospects .



Talking to members of the board or management of a company – a two-way process that we might initiate, or the company might initiate. We use engagement to understand companies better. We also use it to give feedback, offer advice and seek changes – including change relating to ESG and climate risk. Engagement also means consulting with government and collaborating with other investors to influence policy and shape debate.


The “E” in ESG. This covers a focus on significant environmental risks and their management. In a climate change context it is a focus on the risks associated with a business having to adapt to climate change requirements or the physical impacts of climate change. We also look at companies’ environmental opportunities due to changing consumer demands, policy changes, technology and innovation.


Short for environmental, social and governance. Investors consider companies’ ESG risks and how well they are managed. To do this, we use the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) framework. Considering ESG gives us a different perspective on how good an investment might be.

ESG integration

Always taking account of ESG issues when assessing potential investment opportunities and monitoring the investments in a portfolio.

ESG ratings

Many investment managers use external providers, such as MSCI, to rate companies on their ESG practices. Each provider has its own way of doing things, so ESG scores can vary radically from one provider to another. We run our own ESG system to rate companies. This is based on 77 standards, each for a different industry, produced by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

Ethical investing

An ethical approach excludes investments that conflict with the client values and ethics that a fund is seeking to reflect. There are many different activities or issues that people prioritise as ethical. Common examples include tobacco, adult entertainment, controversial weapons, coal or activities that contravene religious social teaching.


Excluding companies from a portfolio. Exclusions can also be used to set minimum standards or characteristics for inclusion of investments in portfolios. Fund managers may exclude entire industries (e.g. tobacco), companies involved in ethically questionable activities (e.g. gambling), companies that fail to meet certain ESG standards, and companies with a bad carbon intensity.


Fundamental analysis/research

Using research to work out the true value of an investment, rather than its current price. Many factors contribute to this, including responsible investment factors. Responsible investment helps us understand the quality of a company, its scope to develop and improve (e.g. in response to climate transition) and its prospects (through making money from responding to sustainability issues). Even if a company is good, it is unlikely to offer good investment returns if this is already reflected in the share price.


Green bonds

Debt issued by companies or governments, with the money raised earmarked for green initiatives such as building renewable energy facilities.


Insincere approaches to climate change and other ESG issues by companies, including investment management firms. For example, an investment manager may label a fund as an ESG fund, even if it does not adopt ESG integration in practice.


Impact investing

Investing in companies and projects that aim to achieve a positive impact for people and the planet, as well as earning a financial return. For example, investing in affordable housing.

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

A United Nations agency, often abbreviated to “ILO”, that sets international standards for fairness and safety at work. The ILO standards are commonly used by investors to assess how serious a corporate controversy is.



An ESG issue is “material” if it is likely to have a significant positive or negative effect on a company’s value or performance.


Norms-based screening

Screening investments for potential controversies by looking at whether a company follows recognised international standards. We consider standards including the International Labour Organisation standards, the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights and the UN Global Compact. Specialist RI funds may exclude companies that do not meet these standards.


Physical risk

The physical risks of climate change for businesses, such as rising sea levels, water shortages and changing weather patterns.

Portfolio tilts

Investment industry jargon for having more of something in a portfolio than the benchmark, or less of it. In responsible investment it usually means having more companies in a portfolio that have better ESG credentials or are less exposed to climate risk than there is in the benchmark. The tilt is measured as the overall exposure to a specific type of investment in a portfolio compared to that in the benchmark.

Positive inclusion/screening

Seeking companies that have good ESG practices or that help the world economy be more sustainable. Also used as an alternative to “best-in-class“. The opposite of exclusion.

Principles for Responsible Investment

Often shortened to PRI. A voluntary set of six ethical principles that many investment companies have agreed to adopt. Principle 1, for example, is: “We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.” The PRI was sponsored by the United Nations. Columbia Threadneedle is a founding signatory, and has attained the top A+ headline rating for its overall approach for the sixth year running.

Proxy voting

Voting on behalf of our clients at company general meetings to show support of their practices and approach – or to show our dissent. We put our voting record on our website within seven days of the vote.


Responsible Investment (RI)

The umbrella term for our approach towards managing our clients’ money responsibly. This includes the integration of ESG factors, controversies, sustainability opportunities and climate risks into our investment research and engagements with companies, to inform our investment decisions and proxy voting.

Responsible Investment Ratings

Mathematical models created by our responsible investment analysts that provide an evidence-based and forward-looking indication of the quality of a business and its management of risk.


Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions

The building blocks used to measure the carbon emissions and carbon intensity of a company. Under an international framework called the Greenhouse Gas Protocol these are divided into Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Scope 1 emissions are generated directly by the business (e.g. its facilities and vehicles). Scope 2 covers emissions caused by something a company uses (e.g. electricity). Scope 3 is the least reliable because it is the hardest to measure. It covers other indirect emissions generated by the products it produces (e.g. from people driving the cars a company makes).

Screened funds

Funds that use screens to exclude companies that do not meet their ethical criteria, ESG expectations, carbon intensity or controversy standards.


The “S” in ESG. Investors analyse social risks and how these are managed. This includes a company’s treatment of its employees and its human rights record for other people outside the company (e.g. in the supply chain). It also refers to a company’s commercial opportunities in responding to changing consumer demands, policy changes or technology and innovation (e.g housing, education or healthcare).

Social bonds

Bonds issued to raise money for a socially useful purpose, such as education or affordable housing. Social bonds follow the standards set by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) and appoint independent external reviewers to confirm the money raised will be used appropriately.

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)

A form of ethical investment that attaches particular importance to avoiding harm to people or the planet, from the investments being made.


A catch-all term to describe the actions taken to look after our clients’ money. It commonly involves both engagement with companies, to develop a proper understanding of business developments, issues and potential concerns; and proxy voting to support or oppose issues at company general meetings.

Stranded assets

A variety of factors can lead to the risk of assets becoming stranded, such as new regulations or taxes (e.g. carbon taxes or changes in emission trading schemes) or changes in demand (e.g. impacts on fossil fuels, resulting from the shift towards renewable energy). Stranded assets risk having their value written down, impacting the value they have in a company’s accounts.


When one investment management company hires another investment management company to manage one of their funds, the hired company is the sub-advisor. Sub-advisors are sometimes used in responsible investment if they have specialist knowledge of this field that does not exist in-house.

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

Often referred to as “SASB”, this is a non-profit organisation that sets standards for the sustainability information companies should communicate to their investors. It has produced 77 sets of industry-specific global standards. SASB looks for sustainability issues that are financially significant to a particular industry.

Sustainability risk

An environmental, social or governance risk that could hit the value of an investment.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

A set of 17 policy goals set out by the United Nations, which aim for prosperity for all without harming people and the planet. Each goal has a number of targets. For example, Goal 2 is Zero Hunger and Target 2.3 is to double the productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers. Companies can contribute to the SDGs by making products or services that help achieve at least one of the 17 goals.

Sustainable investing

Investing in a way that recognises the need for and supports balanced social, environmental and economic development for the long term.


Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures was set up by the World Bank to help companies communicate their climate risks and opportunities and how they manage them. The TFCD sets out a framework for communicating how management considers climate risks, its strategy for responding to climate change, risk management arrangements and the types of risk covered. The TCFD says companies should, for example, explain how their business strategies would cope in different temperature scenarios. From 2022 companies listed on the UK stock market will have to follow the TCFD’s recommendations for disclosing climate risks.

EU SFDR (Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation)

This forces funds to communicate how they integrate sustainability risk and consider adverse impacts. For funds promoting environmental or social characteristics or that are targeting sustainability objectives, additional information will need to be communicated.

The EU Taxonomy

Often called the “Green Taxonomy”. This is the EU’s system for deciding whether an investment is sustainable. Investments must contribute to one or more environmental objectives and meet the detailed criteria required for each activity or product that contributes to this. Investments must not do significant harm to any of the objectives. They must also meet minimum standards in business practices, labour standards, human rights, and governance.

Thematic investing

Researching global trends, or “themes”, to identify investments that will either benefit from changing needs or be impacted by them. Common themes are climate change and technological innovation. Often combined with sustainable investing, which looks at these trends but with an additional focus on the environmental or social implications of themes.

Transition risk

The potential risks faced by companies as society transitions towards alignment with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming. This is the risk that a company is so invested in certain incompatible operations and assets that it is uneconomical to transition to align with the Paris Agreement.


UN Global Compact (UNGC)

The world’s largest sustainability initiative. The UNGC sets out a framework based on Ten Principles for business strategies, policies and practices, designed to make businesses behave responsibly and with moral integrity. Companies can volunteer to sign the Compact, and can be struck off by the UN for breaking it. The Compact is commonly used by investors to assess how serious controversies are.

UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights

A framework for companies to prevent human rights abuses caused by their activities. Commonly used by investors to assess the severity of companies’ human rights failures.

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About us

Millions of people around the world rely on Columbia Threadneedle Investments to manage their money. We look after investments for individual investors, financial advisers and wealth managers, as well as insurance firms, pension funds and other institutions.

Our funds

Columbia Threadneedle Investments has a comprehensive range of investment funds catering for a broad range of objectives.

Responsible business

Our new Responsible Business Report outlines our commitment to managing our business in a responsible and transparent manner. This includes how we serve our customers, manage their assets, support and develop our employees and contribute to the communities we are part of.