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Magazine Issues » May 2021

Editorial: Stick to the science

Nick_FitzpatrickLast month, we wrote about the EU’s anti-greenwashing regulation known as the SFDR. This month, we visit greenwashing again – but in doing so, we gain a clearer picture of what it is in practice.

It seems a remarkably easy sin to commit. A portfolio manager with a carbon-intensive stock may not be greenwashing if they drive positive change; a manager with a cleaner company could be, if neither the manager nor the corporate in question is striving to be better.

One commentator tells our ESG report (see pages 19-42) that companies and fund managers can avoid accusations of greenwashing by sticking to science-based targets to lessen negative sustainability impacts – targets that are tangible enough for investors to vote on.

But once voted on, it seems obvious that asset managers will have to hold themselves up for scrutiny by becoming exceptionally transparent with their voting records.

Anything less than this could be greenwashing.

Nick Fitzpatrick, Group Editor, Funds Europe

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