Macquarie sees broad sustainability as ‘good business’

The global asset manager released its annual sustainability report, which identified trends impacting investments that reach beyond climate change.

Macquarie, which managed more than A$562 billion ($414.9 billion; €351.4 billion) in assets as of 31 March, with 71 percent invested in infrastructure, has made building an emissions-free portfolio the centrepiece of its sustainability efforts.

In a report last week, the firm noted that in December it had signed up to the Climate Pledge, an initiative led by Amazon, to make investments in line with managing a net-zero portfolio by 2040. Macquarie also joined the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative in March.

More than a year into a global pandemic and social justice movement, the report also described how Macquarie had “relaunched” its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to “explore how to further embed sustainability principles and policies to inform investment decisions”.

Macquarie said it is reviewing practices in its own offices to create a more inclusive workplace that will impact hiring, promotions, engagement and succession planning. Within its portfolio, the firm is looking at ways to integrate DE&I considerations into due diligence for potential investments.

Ben Way, head of Macquarie Asset Management, said in a statement: “In a year where the world has grappled with a global pandemic, racial injustice and social inequality, there are reasons to be optimistic. We have seen the world coming together on the need to take real and measurable action to address climate change.”

The report states that sustainable investment decisions go beyond climate change and the environment. Macquarie identified macroeconomic developments– including urbanisation, resource scarcity, technology and innovation – and human rights as key trends shaping how it will deploy capital in the years to come.

“These macro trends, and others that will emerge, are redefining governmental, corporate and individual behaviour,” the report stated. It added that sustainability efforts were simply “good business”.