Ethical Hub : Ethical Reviews - Ethical Investment Review December 2022

Ten Entertainment Group

We engaged with one of our conviction stocks, Ten Entertainment on waste targets. Ten Entertainment is a listed bowling company with food facilities too. We met with the company and thanked the management for their response to us. We were pleased to learn that our engagement on the topic expedited the company’s focus on setting such targets. All packaging is recyclable, and Ten Entertainment are trialling customer segmentation of waste.

Pharmaceutical companies

We attended an Access to Medicine Foundation day in the quarter. ATMF ranks pharmaceutical companies on their access plans and equitable pricing strategies to encourage the provision of essential healthcare products to the approximately 80% of the population that live in low and middle income countries. The Foundation presented on the latest iteration of the Index, which comes out biennially and provided the opportunity to speak with the pharmaceutical companies within the index. We met with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and AstraZeneca (AZN). GSK has long been the highest scorer in the index, however AZN has moved up from 7th place two years ago to sit 3rd within the index. Both GSK and AZN have targets to have a positive impact in the lives of those in low and middle income countries. GSK launched a new initiative last year called the Global Health Initiative, which aims to positively impact 1.3bn people in the next 10 years. AZN is committed to reaching 50m people through its Healthy Heart Africa (HHA), Healthy Lung, and Young Health Programme by 2025, which they are on track to reach.

Church Investors Group (CIG)

We continue to be active in engaging collaboratively with other investors. We participated in the CIG annual conference where we heard challenging presentations on deforestation and human rights, among other topics. It was also the launch of the latest strategy for CIG, which we were part of forming, addressing topics as they relate to stranded humans.

Carbon Footprint

The Epworth UK Equity fund, and the other Epworth funds listed below report on their carbon footprint using independently verified data.

  • As at the 31 December 2022, the Epworth UK fund had a carbon footprint 19% below its benchmark of the All-Share Index.
  • The Epworth Climate Stewardship fund has a mandate to have a carbon footprint substantially below (at least 15%) that of the FTSE All Share Index. As at the end of December 2022, the footprint of the fund was 70% less intensive than its benchmark.
  • The Epworth Global Equity fund at the end of December 2022 was 70% less intensive than its benchmark of the FTSE All-World index.

Corporate Governance

Q4 continues to be a quieter time for company AGMs, however we continue to vote in line with out Church Investors Group policy at all meetings we are eligible to vote at.