Maple-Brown Abbott modifies ESG fund

By Penny Pryor

Maple-Brown Abbott has modified its Maple-Brown Abbott Responsible Investment Fund and renamed it the Maple-Brown Abbott Australian Sustainable Future Fund.

The adjustments to the fund include changing the screening process to include positive screens that target positive impact in a number of 'sustainable future' goals. Negative screens have also been enhanced and Maple-Brown Abbott says the fund's philosophy is now aligned more closely with the UN Sustainable Development goals.

"We are interested in knowing the likely real-world outcome of the companies we invest in, how they are contributing to solutions that will help create a better Australian future," head of ESG and co-portfolio manager Emma Pringle said.

"We apply a positive screen across the investment universe to identify companies that make a positive contribution to one or more of our sustainable investment themes, which are informed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals."

The fund has been certified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA).

The portfolio is relatively concentrated with between 25 to 40 stocks and companies are assessed on the degree to which revenue is derived from products and services that support the fund's sustainable investment themes. A company's future ability to support those themes is also considered, which is particularly important when it comes to the likes of energy transition, according to Pringle.