Engaging with allies to advance sustainable investing

Katherine Collins, CFA, MTS

Katherine Collins, CFA, MTS
Head of Sustainable Investing, 10/03/19

Sustainable Investing | How we collaborate

  • In addition to our asset management responsibilities, we aim to contribute to the development of the field of sustainable investing.
  • We collaborate with institutions that connect businesses and investors to better understand the financial, social, and environmental impacts of sustainability.
  • We also support the field through research and speaking engagements, sharing our reflections on sustainable investment trends.

At Putnam, we recognize that the field of sustainable investing is actively growing and evolving, and each part of our community has an opportunity to contribute to the field’s advancement.

One way we contribute is by collaborating with institutions in the sustainability field:

United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UN PRI). This organization works to understand the investment implications of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and to support its international network of investor signatories as they incorporate these factors into their investment and ownership decisions. Putnam has been a signatory to the UN PRI since 2011. This means we are committed to thoughtfully and appropriately integrating ESG issues into investment analysis, decision making, policies, and practices. Our research focuses on understanding how ESG factors may influence performance, generate alpha, and/or mitigate risk in client portfolios. I serve as chair of Putnam’s PRI committee, which also includes senior members of our firm’s operating committee.

Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB). Putnam joined SASB as an alliance member in 2018, and we are also members of its Investor Advisory Group. SASB’s mission is to establish industry-specific disclosure standards for financial material, decision-useful ESG topics, which facilitates communications between companies and investors.

Ongoing pollination. We participate in a number of other ad hoc collaborations, focused on three main areas:

  • Research on emerging issues
  • Improving processes around disclosure and analysis of sustainable investing approaches
  • Contributing to development and transparency of sustainable business practices

We also support the field through our own research, and we share our reflections on sustainable investment trends in several different formats, including here in this blog and in the sustainable investing section of this website. In addition, we speak at many field-building and educational events, contributing our perspective as active managers in sustainable investing.

“Sustainable investing is an expanding field. Its roots are decades old, and its branches are extending in many directions.”

Sustainable investing is an expanding field. Its roots are decades old, and its branches are extending in many directions. Right now, we are still in the early stages of exploring the insights it can yield and the value it can offer to investors. Putnam is active in nurturing this development by sharing insights with, as well as learning from, our many allies in different areas of the discipline. We value these diverse inputs, and we believe that engaging with this broader network deepens our understanding and leads us to better, more essential questions.

Learn more about the funds and our sustainable investing approach at putnam.com.