Investing and financing category
The company is an independent asset management business that seeks to advance sustainability and create prosperity through positive impact investments. It aims to demonstrate that investing in a way which generates positive environmental and social impacts for the world is also a better way of investing from a financial point of view.
Sustainability has often been seen as a niche area, of relevance only to investors who specialise in ethical issues. WHEB seeks to change this view by showing that sustainability issues can strengthen financial returns over a long-term period of more than three years.
Using ‘impact reporting’ makes clearer the relationship between positive social and environmental performance and financial impact. Data shows the positive impact of sustainability on financial returns. WHEB only invests in companies that provide products and services that help address critical challenges. It doesn’t invest in oil and gas, for example. Instead it invests in renewable energy or energy efficiency, as well as other areas which provide societal solutions, for example in healthcare and education. The returns have been in the top quartile over one and three years. WHEB has found that, because what it is doing is distinctive, people find it an interesting strategy.
There is a lack of a generally accepted methodology for assessing impact in listed equity investments and there is a related challenge of data availability because companies are not yet reporting enough information on the impacts of their products. And there are many barriers to entry for small asset managers.
WHEB Asset Management clearly demonstrated its strong commitment to sustainable investment. The judges applaud the determination to generate positive change as shareholders, and its investment in organisations which provide solutions to sustainability challenges.