Ecofin Sustainable Listed Infrastructure Fund (the “Sub-Fund”)
EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 (“SFDR”)
This Fund promotes environmental and social characteristics pursuant to Article 8 SFDR, as referred to below and in more detail in Annex I and in Annex II of this Supplement.
The Fund’s portfolio will at all times seek to be ‘cleaner’ in terms of carbon emissions (tons of CO2 emitted per megawatt hour of generation) than the overall power sector (as measured by the MSCI World Utilities Index). The Sub-Investment Manager, Ecofin Advisors Limited, uses a third-party ESG data provider to measure each company’s carbon emissions performance (percent of generation from renewables and coal and carbon emissions per megawatt hour) compared with the relevant domestic grid(s) and the portfolio’s share of total emissions generated by portfolio companies per US$ invested; these measures are compared with the MSCI World Utilities Index, but this does not constitute a reference benchmark.
Sustainability refers to the on-going and thorough assessment of ESG criteria in the course of the Fund’s investment analysis and practices and to the intention for the Fund’s portfolio to be cleaner in terms of CO2 emissions than the power sector at any point in time.
ESG criteria are applied as an analytical tool prior to investment and on an on-going basis thereafter.
The disclosures in this section are made pursuant to Article 8 of the SFDR.
Information on how the environmental, social and governance characteristics of the Fund are met:
Each company that the Sub-Investment Manager follows in the Fund’s investment universe has an assigned analyst who is responsible for all aspects of the research process and for engaging with company management. Portfolio Managers and Analysts primarily utilize company filings and engagement with management teams in their ESG assessment for qualitative analysis.
The Sub-Investment Manager’s perspective or edge relates to its significant expertise in dealing with and evaluating policy frameworks within some of the major greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting industries, in particular utilities and sustainable infrastructure, in the Fund’s investment universe. In the power sector, which is a majority exposure in the Fund, the investment strategy is to invest predominantly in companies investing to achieve their own or government targets for emissions reductions and greener grids and eventually decarbonisation. The Fund’s portfolio is oriented, therefore, toward clean generators and suppliers of electricity.
As attention on the impacts of climate change on the planet intensifies, corporate strategies are changing quickly to meet the demands for more and cleaner electricity and to prioritise the mitigation of environmental risks. Population and GDP growth and the electrification of transportation, industry and buildings are driving increasing demand for electricity and, at the same time, there is a race globally for lower carbon footprints. The Sub-Investment Manager’s strategy is to focus on those companies which are strategically focused on renewable energies and network infrastructure build-outs.
The investment needs for power are matched when the Sub-Investment Manager looks more broadly at the network infrastructure – water, roads, airports, railways – required to support economic growth and to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The manner in which sustainability risks are integrated into investment decisions
Sustainability risk is defined as “an environmental, social or governance event or condition that, if it occurs, could cause an actual or potential material negative impact on the value of the investment”. It is concerned with the risk that the value of an investment could be materially negatively impacted as a result of environmental or social risks. It is also worth noting that such risks need only be considered where they could have a material negative effect on the value of the relevant investment.
The Sub-Investment Manager believes that analysis of sustainability risks is an essential element of the investment management process and that companies in this Fund’s sectors exhibiting good ESG credentials are more likely to perform well over the longer term. Engagement and proxy voting are integral parts of active management and a case-by-case assessment is made for decisions relating to all proxies, corporate actions and events relating to portfolio holdings. The integration of sustainability risk analysis has a positive impact on research quality and portfolio returns for this Fund. More information on sustainability risk analysis is provided in Annex II of this Supplement.