Sustainability in the investment process
Our investment philosophy is about finding companies with high quality and sustainability standards, through fundamental research and proprietary ESG analysis tools.
All of our investment decisions are guided by Espiria's Quality & Sustainability Score (EQSS), a tool that helps to promote specific environmental and social characteristics such as lower risk of biodiversity loss, high health & safety standards, alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the net zero target.
Espiria is part of East Capital Group and sustainability and ESG are core elements of our vision of working for positive change. A key part of this vision is achieved through our investment activities, which fully integrate ESG and sustainability aspects, defined as responsible investing. All investment strategies within the East Capital Group follow the same ESG framework. The framework consists of four pillars: Sector Exclusions (Negative Screening); Controversy (Norms-Based) Screening; Proprietary ESG Analysis; and Active Ownership. The framework and the four pillars are described in detail in the East Capital Group ESG Policy.
As an active owner, we take responsibility and work together with other investors and organisations to contribute to a more sustainable world.
Sustainability Related Information
The Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) is the EU regulation on sustainability disclosure. Its purpose is to increase transparency on sustainability and sustainability risks in the financial market and to facilitate investors by standardising the reporting of sustainability factors (ESG factors).
Please see below for SFDR information on Espiria's funds.
Espiria invests in global equities with a focus on quality companies and in fixed income with a focus on the Nordics. We seek exposure to structural trends led by innovation and sustainability, integrate ESG and sustainability in our investment process, and our investment objective is to achieve significant capital appreciation over the long term.
Espiria 30, Espiria 60, Espiria 90, Espiria Global, and Espiria Nordic Bond Fund (“the Funds”) are all classified as Article 8 Funds under Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 (the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, “the SFDR”). This means that while the Funds do not have a sustainable investment objective, the Funds seek to promote environmental or social characteristics, or a combination of those, provided that the companies in which the investments are made follow good governance practices. This includes ensuring net zero alignment, reducing biodiversity risks, improving board diversity, and strengthening alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
To ensure the attainment of the environmental and social characteristics that are promoted by the Funds, we have implemented a proprietary quality assessment framework for all Espiria holdings, referred to as the Espiria Quality and Sustainability Score (EQSS), where the EQSS Sustainability section covers the sustainability related binding elements for the Funds.
The Funds are committed to have a certain minimum proportion of sustainable investments with an environmental and/or a social objective. We have developed a Three-Step-Test (“the Test”) to determine if an investment should be considered as sustainable; the Test is based on the definition of a sustainable investment in Article 2(17) of the SFDR, and uses several of our proprietary ESG tools in combination with data from external service providers (in particular, our Red Flag Analysis and EQSS Framework, sector-based screening, and norms-based screening).
This website disclosure contains relevant material on the Funds’ investment strategy and asset allocation. We also describe our methodologies for promoting environmental and social characteristics, as well as how we ensure that no investments cause significant harm and how we consider principal adverse impacts on sustainability factors in the investment process. In general, the essence of our ESG approach is that we rely on a combination of proprietary ESG tools, which are used regularly by the analysts and portfolio managers, together with internal checks by and cooperation with the ESG team, as well as data from external service providers. The importance of proprietary methods is especially relevant since sustainability-related data from companies are still lacking and diverge across various markets. Our approach also ensures that ESG considerations are an integrated part of the whole investment process.
In this disclosure, we present our approaches to good governance practices and active ownership. We consider good corporate governance as well as environmentally and socially responsible behaviour as essential in managing a company in order to maximise long-term shareholder value. As such, we need to ensure that we have a robust framework to measure sustainability in compliance with regulatory requirements, and that we maintain constructive dialogues with our portfolio companies to ensure that they continue to improve on material ESG aspects.
The disclosure for each Fund is accessible in the PDF-files below. Each disclosure begins with a summary.
Espiria SDG Solutions (“the Fund”) is an actively managed global equity fund, aiming to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside significant capital appreciation over the long-term. The Fund builds its investment strategy based on understanding the world’s most imminent social and environmental challenges – well summarised by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) blueprint, from which investment opportunities are identified.
Through the Fund’s investments, we seek to achieve a wide range of sustainability objectives, described in 48 SDG targets (out of 169 in total) that we have identified as investible. Each UN SDG target can be categorised as either an environmental or a social objective, depending on whether the expected positive impact primarily relates to environmental or social outcomes.
Based on UN SDG funding gap figures from the 2022 Force for Good research, the annual SDG related investments need to quadruple from the current level if the SDG goals were to be achieved by 2030. To capture the huge opportunities laid out by the UN SDGs, while also contributing to them through capital allocation decisions, the Fund focuses on “SDG Solution” companies grouped under five sustainable themes:
- Sustainable Food and Ecosystems
- Circular Economy
- Health and Empowerment
- Energy Transition
- Connectivity and Infrastructure
An SDG Solution company is defined by Espiria as a company which, through its products and services, contributes to at least one material SDG target, based on a set of pre-determined criteria. We believe that these companies’ long-term financial growth outlook is strongly aligned with their net positive impact in the real-world.
Our investment process fully integrates financial and sustainability (and impact) assessments through our Espiria Quality and Sustainability Score (EQSS) and Espiria Impact Assessment (EIA) frameworks. EIA puts an emphasis on ensuring that each holding’s contribution to the UN SDGs is both justifiable, with an impact thesis, and measurable, with carefully selected outcome KPIs that are monitored regularly.
Espiria SDG Solutions is classified as an Article 9 Fund under Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 (the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, “the SFDR”). The Fund is committed to have a total minimum proportion of 90% sustainable investments with an environmental and/or a social objective, with the remaining up to 10% of the portfolio reserved for liquidity purposes only.
Further details of the sustainable objectives as well as our sustainable investment process are provided in our website disclosure document, compiled in accordance with the disclosure requirements under the SFDR. The disclosure for the Fund is accessible in the PDF-file below. The disclosure begins with a summary.
Espiria is a signatory to the PRI, Principles for Responsible Investment, the UN's responsible investment guidelines, which implement six principles relating to active ownership, ESG integration and disclosure. One Principle is to work together to improve our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
We are also active members of other industry initiatives and organisations including ACGA, CDP, IFRS, Climate Action 100+, IIGCC, SISD, SWESIF and TCFD.
East Capital Group Sustainable Investment Report
Having driven ESG-related issues in emerging and frontier markets for 25 years, we at East Capital Group apply unique insights and methods to our investments. Our 2022 Sustainable Investment Report, presents tools and outcome from across the group: Adrigo, East Capital, East Capital Real Estate and Espiria.