Responsible investment

Aviva Investors are calling for ‘no-go’ commitments from extractive mining companies to protect world heritage sites.

And we’re fighting the spread of drug-resistant superbugs that threaten to wipe $100 trillion off potential global output by 2050. 

But that’s not all we’re doing as part of our commitment to responsible investment

Find out more about responsible investment at Aviva

Sustainable business practices

Aviva Investors is our global asset management company.  We have £353 billion (as at 31 December 2017) of assets under management in equities, fixed interest, property and multi assets - and we use our influence and experience to promote sustainable business practices across the financial markets. 

Building on Aviva Investors’ 40 year heritage in responsible investment, in 2017 we have continued to:

  • Enhance the way we integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into our investment decisions;
  • Act as responsible stewards of our investments, through our annual general meeting (AGM) voting and engagement activities; and
  • Use our influence and experience to drive sustainable market-wide capital markets reform.

Integrating ESG considerations into our decisions

We work together with fund managers and analysts, customising ESG integration for each investment process, to deliver better investment outcomes for our clients. We incorporate ESG issues into our investment analysis and decision-making because we believe it delivers better investment outcomes for our clients, society and the environment.

In particular, Aviva Investors’ Global Responsible Investment Team (GRI Team) is a key component in building Aviva Investors’ House View, which cascades back through the organisation and helps guide medium- to long-term investment positions. They ensure that material ESG factors, such as global climate negotiations and social trends in urbanisation, are considered when determining the firm-wide macro outlook.

As long-term investors, we see factors such as corporate culture, good governance, climate change strategy, and employee and market place attitudes as core to the success of our investments.

Active ownership

We actively promote good practice among companies we invest in. We aim to identify and reduce ESG risks in our portfolios. For example, by understanding the quality of the board of directors of a company and its strategy on issues, such as climate change or the living wage, we can gauge how well prepared they are to deal with current or emerging ESG issues. 

If we consider a company’s performance falls short, and that this shortfall will have an impact on our investment decision, we engage with the board to improve performance. We vote against companies’ annual report and accounts that fail to report on key ESG matters or perform poorly. 

In 2017 we voted on 49,721 resolutions at 4,151 shareholder meetings and engaged on 989 occasions with companies as part of our stewardship responsibilities.

Aviva Investors is a founding signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment. We received a ranking of A+ in their 2017 assessment.

In 2017 we were also honoured to receive the Responsible Investor Award for Innovation and Industry Leadership. It’s a testament to the market-leading way we stay at the centre of, and tirelessly push forward, the ESG issues that matter most to the investment community. This has included the launching of investor guidance on Corporate Culture, Antibiotic Resistance and Sustainable Fisheries.

Advocating for sustainability

Finance plays an important role in meeting the targets of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Aviva Investors remain engaged in how our industry can support the transition to a low-carbon economy, and how we can directly finance assets that help reach this goal.

In 2017 we were the first asset manager to include disclosure to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) in our UK Corporate Governance and Corporate Responsibility Voting Policy.

Our role as an asset owner and insurer

We’re mindful of the wider role we play as an insurer and asset owner in helping to encourage responsible investment practices. In 2017 Aviva stopped investment in all tobacco manufacturing companies, demonstrating our drive to combat the negative effects of tobacco on public health.

Protecting UNESCO world heritage sites 

Aviva Investors is working collaboratively to stop extractive mining companies threatening UNESCO world heritage sites.

Find out more

Fighting antibiotic resistance 

Nearly half of all antibiotics in the UK, two-thirds in Europe and 80 per cent in the US are given to livestock. Aviva Investors has targeted 40 large food producing and retailing companies with high exposure to antibiotic risk in an effort to encourage better practices.

Find out more