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Coutts announces ESG targets in new sustainability report

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Wealth manager and private bank Coutts is targeting a 25 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in its funds and portfolios by the end of 2021, according to the firm’s newly launched 2020 Sustainability Report.Coutts, which already tackles sustainability differently than much of the wealth management market by embedding ESG-thinking across the entire investment process – rather than offering specific products – launched the report to demonstrate that “inaction is not an option”.

 
Those were the words of Mohammad Kamal Syed, Head of Asset Management at Coutts, who also commented that: “We invest with purpose and integrity, and with a keen focus on sustainability. It’s extremely important that we do this well. It’s not enough to simply sit back and do nothing to make it worse. We all have to do something tangible. Defeating climate change, for example, isn’t about what we believe, it’s about what we do.”
 
Within the report, the wealth manager and private bank also declared that it has achieved a 23 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from its Coutts Invest funds this year already and is aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent across its overall holdings by 2030.
 
Leslie Gent, Coutts’ Head of Responsible Investing, says: “It is vital that we have a goal to work towards and that we hold ourselves accountable. Accountability for driving change towards a more sustainable planet is something we think is missing from society. To date, there has been a lot of carrot and not much stick and we believe that regulators should harden their stance to help drive real change.”
 
To be a part of that change, Coutts has today also revealed that it has excluded four areas from its direct investments: Thermal coal extraction; thermal coal energy generation; tar sand; arctic oil and gas exploration.
 
Gent adds: “We’re committed to continually improving how we do this to ensure we’re making the biggest possible difference. Our clients deserve nothing less. This involves reviewing our overall process at least every two years.”

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