FSSA ESG Report 2023:
highlighting our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) activities and company engagements  

At FSSA Investment Managers we seek to invest in quality companies and hold them for the long term. To us, “quality” and “ESG” are synonymous; therefore, we have embedded ESG analysis within the team and have integrated it into our fundamental company research. 

Our newly published FSSA ESG Report 2023 highlights our ongoing engagement with companies. Generally, we have found that our investee companies are open-minded and receptive when we offer examples of best practice and suggestions for improvement. We believe this is due to our longstanding share ownership and the relationships we have built with management over time.

For example,  on corporate governance and strategy we engaged with Thailand’s leading commercial bank, and sent a letter suggesting some tough reforms were needed. Similarly, at a Southeast Asian food and beverages company, we wrote to the management about our concerns on its capital allocation strategy. In both cases, we were reassured by the response.

On climate change, we report on China’s largest home appliances company, which has been leading the transition to eco-friendly refrigerants in its air-conditioners. And we highlight the cutting-edge chips, made by the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor manufacturer, which power almost everything from iPhones to electric cars and enable them to be more efficient while consuming less energy. These products are contributing to energy savings globally and play an active role in the transition to a low carbon economy.

We also provide an update on our progress in decarbonising our portfolios. As long-term investors, protecting and growing our clients’ capital requires us to understand how our investee companies are adapting to a lower carbon future. Our decarbonisation process aims to reduce the total amount of carbon emitted by companies in our portfolios and includes an ongoing review of our portfolios’ carbon footprints as well as their weighted average carbon intensity1.  

We continued to review our investee companies’ net-zero ambitions, covering 78% of our assets under management as at 31 October 2023. Encouragingly, more of them had expanded disclosure on climate-related information and announced climate and environmental targets. For those that had made efforts to embed it as an ordinary part of their businesses, we noted the presence of long-term minded management teams who helped to push the agenda forward.  

From a people and communities’ perspective, we spotlight the Philippines and the non-governmental organisation (NGO)-led projects that we visited with Manan Trust2. These trips beyond the corporate world provide us with nuanced perspectives on the challenges faced by companies in Asia and help us gain a deeper understanding of the countries in which we invest – a key reason in-person visits are an important part of our due diligence process. 

These are among the case studies and progress updates we’ve chosen to highlight in this year’s report. Through these examples it is clear, in our experience, when a company has embedded sustainability principles throughout its business, or if it is just paying lip-service to the matter. 

That said, we believe that there is no such thing as a perfect company. ESG is a complex subject, and the markets we invest in are at varying stages of development. Instead of penalising companies in the early stages of incorporating ESG measures, we focus on the direction of travel and engage with companies to encourage them to improve. Ultimately, we aim for our engagement efforts to improve their trajectory, help them achieve their long-term objectives, and align those goals with their key stakeholders.

To find out more about these case studies and others not included in this article, please download the full FSSA ESG Report 2023.

 

The weighted average carbon intensity (WACI) of a portfolio calculates a weighted average of each company’s greenhouse gas emissions intensity (Scope 1 & 2) per $million of revenue, weighted by the value in the portfolio using a mix of reported and modelled data. We compare this to the weighted average carbon intensity for the companies in the aggregated benchmark.

2 FSSA sponsors social impact initiatives through the strategic philanthropic work of Manan Trust.

Source: Company data retrieved from company annual reports or other such investor reports. Financial metrics and valuations are from FactSet and Bloomberg. As at June 2024 or otherwise noted. 

 

Important Information

The information contained within this material is generic in nature and does not contain or constitute investment or investment product advice.  The information has been obtained from sources that First Sentier Investors (“FSI”) believes to be reliable and accurate at the time of issue but no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to the fairness, accuracy, completeness or correctness of the information.  To the extent permitted by law, neither FSI, nor any of its associates, nor any director, officer or employee accepts any liability whatsoever for any loss arising directly or indirectly from any use of this material. 

This material has been prepared for general information purpose. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render special advice. The views expressed herein are the views of the writer at the time of issue and not necessarily views of FSI.  Such views may change over time.  This is not an offer document, and does not constitute an investment recommendation. No person should rely on the content and/or act on the basis of any matter contained in this material without obtaining specific professional advice.  The information in this material may not be reproduced in whole or in part or circulated without the prior consent of FSI.  This material shall only be used and/or received in accordance with the applicable laws in the relevant jurisdiction.

Reference to specific securities (if any) is included for the purpose of illustration only and should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the same.  All securities mentioned herein may or may not form part of the holdings of First Sentier Investors’ portfolios at a certain point in time, and the holdings may change over time.

In Hong Kong, this material is issued by First Sentier Investors (Hong Kong) Limited and has not been reviewed by the Securities & Futures Commission in Hong Kong. In Singapore, this material is issued by First Sentier Investors (Singapore) whose company registration number is 196900420D. This advertisement or material has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. First Sentier Investors, FSSA Investment Managers, Stewart Investors, RQI Investors and Igneo Infrastructure Partners are the business names of First Sentier Investors (Hong Kong) Limited. First Sentier Investors (registration number 53236800B), FSSA Investment Managers (registration number 53314080C), Stewart Investors (registration number 53310114W), RQI Investors (registration number 53472532E) and Igneo Infrastructure Partners (registration number 53447928J) are the business divisions of First Sentier Investors (Singapore).

First Sentier Investors (Hong Kong) Limited and First Sentier Investors (Singapore) are part of the investment management business of First Sentier Investors, which is ultimately owned by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (“MUFG”), a global financial group. First Sentier Investors includes a number of entities in different jurisdictions.

MUFG and its subsidiaries are not responsible for any statement or information contained in this material. Neither MUFG nor any of its subsidiaries guarantee the performance of any investment or entity referred to in this material or the repayment of capital. Any investments referred to are not deposits or other liabilities of MUFG or its subsidiaries, and are subject to investment risk, including loss of income and capital invested.

 

Any targets (including, but not limited to, the net zero targets) on this webpage are based on (i) available information and representations made to First Sentier Investors by third parties, including, but not limited to, portfolio companies; and (ii) assumptions made in relation to future matters such as the implementation of government policy in climate-related areas, enhanced future technology and the actions of portfolio companies. Such information and representations may ultimately prove to be inaccurate and such future matters may not ultimately be realised. As such, First Sentier Investors cannot guarantee the achievement of these targets. These targets are subject to ongoing review and may change without notice.

Any ESG related commitments, are current as at the date of publication and have been formulated by the relevant investment team in accordance with either internally developed proprietary frameworks or are otherwise based on the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) Paris Aligned Investment Initiative framework.

The commitments are based on information and representations made to the relevant investment teams by portfolio companies (which may ultimately prove not be accurate), together with assumptions made by the relevant investment team in relation to future matters such as government policy implementation in ESG and other climate-related areas, enhanced future technology and the actions of portfolio companies (all of which are subject to change over time). As such, achievement of these commitments depend on the ongoing accuracy of such information and representations as well as the realisation of such future matters. Any ESG related commitments are continuously reviewed by the relevant investment teams and subject to change without notice.

To the extent this material contains any measurements or data related to ESG factors, these measurements or data are estimates based on information sourced by the relevant investment team from third parties including portfolio companies and such information may ultimately prove to be inaccurate.