3 tips for monitoring the sustainability of investment portfolio

Sustainability has become a global trend, which is also evident in investing, where the term ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) is used to refer to the consideration of environmental and social responsibility and governance-related issues in investment processes and reporting. This is also referred to as sustainable investing. Investors can employ a variety of analytical approaches to address ESG considerations, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of ESG risks and opportunities.

Monitoring the sustainability of investments is often challenging and time-consuming. Investors, asset managers and sustainability data providers have different monitoring methods, making it difficult to form a consistent picture. Sometimes, due to the nature of one's operations and sustainability principles, it can be important to understand whether investment portfolios include, for example nuclear power or related equities or funds. In its simplicity a ESG score can be for investor much like a credit score or a bond rating; a facilitating indicator for screening, which denotes a company’s ability to meet its sustainability commitments.

1. Ensure objective ESG monitoring of your investments

ESG ratings and reporting regulations are intended to help both individual and professional investors make decisions. However, due to the continuously increasing demands of legislation and the absence of consistent sustainability reporting standards, numerous investors resort to costly external data sources. This in turn contributes to additional costs alongside other pre-existing portfolio market data sources. The EU has introduced the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and taxonomy to ensure that asset managers, institutional investors, pension funds, and investment advisors incorporate ESG factors into their investment decisions and advisory processes. Signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) are also committed to reporting annually on the implementation of responsible investment practices. Because on transparency and requirements, investments must be monitored to ensure compliance with responsible investment principles.

As the responsible investing market grows, the need for objective ESG data, reporting, and analysis tools has also increased for smaller institutional investors. Also, the rising demand for transparency and recognition of how ESG issues can impact the risk-return profile of investments has prompted Nordic investors to prioritize sustainability issues in recent years. If you require assistance in initiating ESG tracking and reporting, we have the solutions for you.

2. Screen your investments for alignment with your ESG strategy, investment plan for better results

Jay's ESG reporting and visual analytics make it simple and clear to implement, measure, and monitor responsible investing. Monitoring the sustainability features of an investment portfolio is comparable to traditional performance and risk monitoring and reporting. Our tool allows, for example,the comparison of ESG risk and return over a desired period, considering the weights and allocations of equities, funds, and ETFs.

When selecting outsourced wealth managers, it is good to ensure the necessary expertise in adhering to responsible investment principles and an approach to implementing an ESG strategy, even during the competition phase. When an investor has a sustainability goal to be achieved with a defined strategy, the strategy's implementation and goals must be continuously monitored with comparable data. Without reporting and regular monitoring, there is a risk that sustainability remains a superficial statement in the investment plan, and the investor's sustainability goal is never achieved as intended.

3. Regularly reporting to your stakeholders

Especially for organizations, it is good to report quarterly or at least once a year to the board or investment committee on the implementation of responsible investing and portfolio development trends in all investment areas. ESG information also brings important added value to investment company annual reports for various stakeholders. It must also be remembered that, in addition to achieving economic returns, investing can also achieve positive social and environmental impacts.

With the help of our reports, investors can regularly analyse thecontent of their investment portfolio. For instance, they can check for any violations of the UN Global Compact principles. If the objective is to avoid investments in specific sectors (such as tobacco, alcohol, gambling, andweapons industries), exposure can be actively monitored and compared to climate-focused benchmark indices.

Through the EU's SFDR disclosure regulation, investors can easily compare the sustainability of their funds. Sustainable investment funds are divided into three different categories based on their ambition level in sustainability: Article 6 funds don’t have any sustainability drivers; Article 8 light green funds promote environmental or social characteristics and Article 9 dark green funds have sustainable investment as their objective. Asset managers are required to classify funds and explain how sustainability factors are considered for each investment, what metrics they use to assess ESG factors and screening processes. With our reports, you can quickly see the distribution of different funds into articles for all fund issuers. Using our investment carbon footprint, carbon emission data and low-carbon classifications investors can also identify, assess, and manage climate-related investment risks and opportunities.

As a member of Finsif (Finland’s Sustainable Investment Forum) we are proudly committed to responsible investing and its promotion, which is why we also want to help our clients monitor the development of their wealth responsibly and impartially. At Jay, sustainability is integrated into our reporting, its continuous improvement, and our workplace's core values.

Jay uses award-winning research and data from Sustainalytics for assessing the sustainability of investment portfolios. Their website has a lot of interesting information related to the topic.


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