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Schroders launches ESG guides to support financial advisers

Confidence when speaking about sustainable investing is dropping


Schroder Investment Solutions has rolled out three sustainability-focused guides designed to provide a starting point for advisers considering the impact of key ESG topics.

The firm’s most recent pulse survey, released in May 2023, found that the number of advisers feeling confident about speaking with their clients on the topic of sustainable investing has continued to fall. These new publications, therefore, look to provide information on areas such as diversity and inclusion (D&I), the gender pay gap and how to approach carbon offsetting.

This follows the launch of Schroders’ Sustainability Scorecard Initiative in October 2022, a tool for advisers to continue to upskill themselves in specific areas of sustainability across ESG factors by considering the credentials of their own business.

“The scorecard was designed specifically to support advisers with sustainability in a more engaging way,” said Gillian Hepburn, head of UK intermediary solutions at Schroders. “A secondary benefit was that by focusing on their own business, it could help advisers identify opportunities for change, making their businesses more valuable and also helping to attract and retain talent.”

However, Hepburn explained that the pulse survey indicated that, while a focus on environmental factors was often being addressed, there remained gaps in ESG knowledge where Schroders could deliver support.

Their guide to carbon offsetting, for example, explains how carbon offsetting can help advice businesses reduce their environmental impact and contribute to the goal of net-zero emissions.

A guide to D&I outlines the importance of having a D&I policy and provides guidance on how to create one, measure progress and the potential benefits of doing so.

And the guide to the gender pay gap helps advice firms understand the benefits of assessing the gender pay gap, irrespective of whether the rules currently apply to their business, and why this knowledge might be useful for retaining and hiring talent.

“The aim with these guides is to support smaller advice businesses,” noted Hepburn. “In particular, those who indicated that they did not have the skills or resource to consider areas such as D&I or the gender pay gap but appreciate that adoption in some way could be beneficial to their businesses.”

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