Undefined ‘social outcomes’ restrict investor participation

Alternative real estate investments often have a head start when it comes to achieving the ‘S’ in ESG. Frequently, they comprise operational businesses such as healthcare or hospitality which are more intensively staffed and by people who might otherwise be marginalised, said Anne Copeland, head of specialist funds at Aegon Asset Management.

Ensuring that social outcomes are embedded in investment strategies requires being able to identify what these outcomes are, she told Real Asset Insights Richard Betts. This is now easier to do because there are tools available to help.

One reason that social outcomes are not more widely embraced is that there is no agreed definition of social impact and social sustainability.

“When something isn’t fully defined and agreed, it’s quite risky to set your stall as a manager and say ‘hey this is what we think it is’. But it does take those first movers to do it and then in a few years time reflect on what we got right and what wasn’t right.”

Click on the video above to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.