Seeking sustainability excellence that can drive outperformance

Our sustainable investing approach aims to identify the connections between companies and the world’s sustainability challenges. We develop a set of forward-looking themes by focusing on investment-relevant issues.

Idea map  |  Forward-looking themes

Our forward-looking investment themes are grounded in fundamental research and show how companies are connected to global sustainability priorities. We outline three overarching thematic categories, which continue to evolve as our research unlocks new ideas.

Three overarching categories

Materiality map  |  Investment relevance

We make our research investment-relevant by focusing on financially material environmental, social, and governance ESG issues. Inspired by the work of the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB), we have developed a tool — the Materiality Map — to structure our research priorities.

Materiality map of ESG investment relevance

Our sustainability research focuses on three overarching categories

Putnam’s Sustainable Investing team organizes its research to identify the connections between companies we can invest in and the world's evolving sustainability challenges.

Zoom in on the three categories of sustainable investing
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Human health and well-being


Environmental health


Equity and access


Thriving People Human health and well-being Tools and therapies Solutions for acute needs Treatments for chronic conditions Telemedicine and digital access to care Data-driven diagnostics and treatment Home-based care Team-based holistic care Food and nutrition Exercise and fitness Mental health, emotional, spiritual wellness Healthy relationships Sleep and rest Public health infrastructure Genetic therapies Plant-based medicine Non-invasive diagnostics & therapies AR and VR therapies Robotics Connected devices Syn bio drug development Data aggregation & analytics

of care

Preventative care
and wellness

Thriving Planet Environmental health Biological solutions Resource stewardship Water quality and access Proteins, microbes, enzymes, and fungi Bioengineering Biomaterials Bioenergy Natural ingredients LEADERSHIP IN IMPROVING: Greenhouse gas emissions Materials intensity Water use Soil health Biodiversity and ecosystems health Responsible sourcing Testing and monitoring systems Solutions for treatment and re-use Improved infrastructure Irrigation solutions Materials innovation Supplier partnerships Recycling and re-use Design for durability and decomposition Renewable energy Energy storage Carbon capture and sequestration Climate and energy analytics Carbon value and pricing mechanisms Electrification of end products Regenerative land use Biodynamic practices Natural crop treatments Precision agriculture Irrigation solutions Seed traits improvement


Sustainable agriculture


Thriving Public Equity and access Efficiency and effectiveness Stakeholder wellness and equity Precision technology Shared infrastructure Business processes Logistics solutions Transport and distribution Packaging innovation Digitization Flexible production Productivity & quality tools Services supporting SMBs Automation, sensing, and repair Precision agriculture Custom design and manufacturing Advanced computing technologies Additive manufacturing ACCESS TO: Healthcare and nutrition Education and information Financial security Meaningful and decent work LEADERSHIP IN IMPROVING: Employee well-being and work conditions Supplier standards and stewardship Value and service to customers Benefits and connection to communities Diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice Effectiveness of public policy Cloud computing Analytics and connectivity Shared transportation Shared real estate Shared manufacturing Rental-based businesses Physical safety Data security Data privacy Data use Infrastructure security

Access and opportunity

Security and

Mapping Putnam investment categories to the UN SDGs

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (listed in the far left columns of the tables below) serve as a guide to the world's most important sustainability priorities. Here we show the connections between our investment themes and the SDG framework. As more companies link their own operating activities to the SDG framework, we expect this type of analysis to extend and deepen over time.

Mapping investment categories to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Investing with a focus on ESG-impact companies may cause the fund to forego otherwise attractive investment opportunities or may increase or decrease the fund's exposure to certain types of companies and, therefore, to possibly underperform funds that do not invest with a similar focus.