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What does investing responsibly mean?

We think investing responsibly Investing responsibly describes our investment approach, which incorporates profit, people and the planet into our decision making. We do this across all our funds in the choices we make about what to invest in and how we seek to use our power of ownership.​ is a better way of investing. We have called it a better way of investing because we believe our approach will result in less risk and better opportunities to grow your money. It is also our way of making sure our investment decisions can change to reflect the needs of people and the planet over the long-term. ​It looks at how profits are made when making decisions about what to invest in. Including considering people and the planet as part of these decisions.

What you invest in matters. It can have a positive or negative effect on the world. But it’s difficult to see how your money's put to work.

That’s where we come in. We help you to invest in a way that considers the future, because we want your money to be part of building a better future for all of us.

We believe that responsibly run companies will provide better long term returns - by looking to our changing world to better consider risks and opportunities.

When we invest your money, we look at profit, people and the planet.


How companies employ, innovate and have economic effects on people and the planet


How companies treat their staff, manage their supply chains and affect communities


How companies use natural resources, manage their emission and affect on the world around us

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Here's how we do it...

We work with our Investment Adviser abrdn Link opens in a new window to make decisions about where we invest your money. We spread your money globally in investments with a long-term outlook.

Taking your money through a journey

  • We invest more into companies that manage their risks appropriately when making a profit. They’ll have good plans in place for the future and will consider their effects on people and the planet. We measure this with an independent score-based system that tracks the whole of market.
  • We invest less in companies that don’t have good plans in place for the future, or don’t consider their effect on people or the planet. We measure this with an independent score-based system that tracks the whole of market.
  • We invest more into companies that put people and the planet alongside their profit.
  • We invest very little in companies we don’t think have a place in the future. We do this by checking their activities against minimum global standards which have people and the planet as their main focus.

Your money has a voice. We help it do the talking.

It can be difficult to imagine that your money has the power to help companies make important decisions. But it does. That’s because your money is on a journey towards positive change.

Investing is a powerful way to use your money in different ways.

When you invest in shares you become a shareholder. Which means you’ll own a small part of the companies you put your money into. You can also invest in corporate bonds. These are like an IOU where you lend out your money to companies for an agreed period of time. You can also invest in something known as a fund of funds that itself invests in funds buying shares or corporate bonds.

When your money is invested it’s being used by these companies to build the future and make their profits. We use our knowledge and our voice to make sure it is being put to good use.

We use our voice to help you have your say. We recognise that our investments come with the power of ownership, which means we can influence how your money is used. We work with the companies where your money is invested to make sure they’re responsible and on the right journey themselves.

We do this by:

  • Talking to companies about their future plans
  • Using our right to share our views on key decisions companies make
  • Working with others in the industry to progress important issues
Read more about how we use our voice
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Keeping ourselves in check

We know that helping our customers to invest responsibly is about more than just returns. It’s also about helping you to feel that your investments are like other choices you make in your day-to-day life and that they align with your values.

To do that, we’re making sure we’re:

  • We are seeking to invest more in investing in companies that are reducing their carbon footprint
  • Using our independent score-based system to see if a company meets our requirements for people and the planet
  • Putting less or very little of your money into companies that don’t share our outlook on the future
  • Using our voice to help you raise yours

How we're making a difference

Our approach is investing responsibly. But our mission is a journey to positive change. That means there’s still more work for us to do.

A better way of investing is just the beginning. Right now, we’re working on:

    • Updating all our funds to investing responsibly. To manage risks, consider our changing future and how this best places us to make responsible returns. This allows us to consider people and planet in the way that profit is made.
    • Developing how we report on the way we invest your money. As well as giving information on how profit is made, and how well companies are considering their effect on people and the planet. We will do this with the same requirements we use to determine which companies to invest in.
    • Being transparent on how we invest your money and the change it makes. We want you to be able to track your money's journey.

    Remember: this is a journey we’re all on. A sustainable future depends on us working together.

Got a question?

We've got the answer

Sustainability looks at the activities taking place today that could affect people and the planet in the future. It's a way of using natural or human-made resources that seeks to minimise harm or deplete them. For businesses, it's a way of balancing the needs of society and the economy with the environment that protects the future.

The future requires change to deliver both an economy that is structured around low carbon energy and systems that are sustainable. It shifts away from high-carbon activities like fossil fuel extraction or unsustainable consumption to drive the economy, and instead focuses on low-carbon activities like renewable energy production.

Sustainable investing seeks to make profit in a way that also improves long-term outcomes for people and the planet. This means investing in companies seeking to protect people and planet from harm, with a forward looking view on building the low carbon sustainable future we need.

Ethical investing looks at how profits are made in line with certain values. For example, investors or fund managers might not want to put money into companies that manufacture weapons, or tobacco.

Impact investing seeks to put people and the planet alongside profit (not after it). This means investing in companies that have a plan towards positive changes in areas most needed on the journey to a sustainable future.

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. It looks at how profits are made that consider people and planet. ESG can help investors and fund managers to look at how companies are measuring their impact on the planet (Environment), people (Social) and how they are run to make a profit (Governance). Companies can be benchmarked to ensure they are meeting the goals set out for themselves and by their industry.

Negative screening is a way to invest less or invest very little money in companies that aren’t managing their risks or opportunities properly in making a profit. They are typically companies whose activities could cause harm to people and the planet. Negative screening reduces the amount of investment into these companies.

Stewardship activities are about doing the right thing. It’s about how fund managers and investment providers are being responsible by investing in companies that consider people, the planet and how profits are made.

Active ownership is the way fund managers and shareholders can use their voice to make sure the companies they invest in are putting that money to good use. This entails talking to companies about their plans, voting on key decisions and working with others on important issues.

Voting is how shareholders and fund managers can have their say on the way companies are run and how they make their profits. Shareholders may vote on important issues that relate to people and the planet. Voting happens at the annual general meeting based on how many shares an owner has.

Net zero is the goal. It’s the destination for reaching a state where greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere are balanced with those being removed from it. The goal to reach net zero is 2050. This is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees as outlined in the international Paris Agreement.

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