This was the title of our new year message for 2019.
While European students, spurred on by Greta Thunberg, have been protesting against climate change, Brazil’s new President has other priorities, citing "budget restrictions "for withdrawing the country’s candidacy to host the COP25 in 2019.
And while, following the threat of a rise in fuel tax, the gilets jaunes have been demonstrating against their falling purchasing power, the Affaire du Siècle petition has gathered more than 2 million signatures – a record!
The entire world is torn between wanting the benefits of a flourishing economy and consumption growth on the one hand, and the need to save the planet and preserve its natural resources on the other. But what if these two aspirations were not irreconcilable? And what if environmental and economic performance could be related?
As a responsible asset manager, we believe that finance has a role to play in the environmental and energy transition, and in the fight against climate change. Sustainable development is in everyone’s interests from both an ethical and a financial standpoint. We now have clear evidence of the long-term impact of responsible and sustainable investment on portfolio performance. For more than 10 years, the Group has sought to develop its expertise in responsible investment, in addition to stating its convictions. We are passionate about sharing our commitments through our publications and our actions.
To start the year with a strong statement and an invitation to our clients to join us in benefiting society, we decided to replace our traditional new year gifts with donations to charities and environmental initiatives. And so, on 18 February, La Française Group presented a cheque for €11,935 to SOS SAHEL, donated €7,098 to Green Cross France & Territoires and planted 5,200 trees with Reforest’Action. In so doing, we hope to make a difference to the environment and to society.
But our 2019 initiatives will not stop there: we continue to play an active part in various working groups and collaborative projects. For example, La Française has contributed to the creation of an SRI label for the real estate sector as part of a working group set up by ASPIM. This new label is set to be formalised in the near future. In addition, AFG has given us responsibility for a working group on measuring the carbon footprint of management company portfolios, which we also chair.
As we enter a new year, we are also delighted to announce that three of our funds have been awarded an SRI label.
Lastly, we can now reveal that La Française has made a commitment to sponsor this year’s annual PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) conference, which will be held in Paris in September. We will also hold another "Mix" event on the subject of impact investing.
And La Française has plenty of other excellent projects for 2019 that will help us along our journey to sustainability…