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The key objectives for Hastings’ investment strategy are strength and predictability. The company aims to achieve these objectives while also driving change for good through its investment decisions.
Hastings views responsible investment as a process of continuous development and improvement. The company has a Responsible Investment framework and is a signatory to the UN PRI since 2022.
Hastings has also committed to reducing the environmental impact of the investment portfolio and has pledged to reduce carbon intensity in the core investment portfolio by 50 per cent by 2030 and to be net-zero by 2050. Progress and the action plan to reach these targets will be monitored and reviewed by the Investment Committee.
Hastings has made a commitment to set science-based targets (SBTs) approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The commitment will see Hastings develop both short-term (5-10 years) and longer-term net-zero targets for both its own operations and investments over the next two years, with targets being disclosed to SBTi in 2024. Once the targets have been disclosed and validated, Hastings will regularly report on progress to SBTi and through annual sustainability reports.
Hastings aims to incorporate ESG criteria into the investment portfolio without negatively impacting returns, diversification, or the overall quality of the portfolio. Hastings’ investment managers integrate ESG criteria into their investment process, in which they seek to identify factors that they believe are key to determining whether a company would outperform or underperform the market. They deploy capital in a manner that integrates ESG criteria, while preserving and growing financial assets.
Hastings has set a target ESG rating for its fixed income portfolio following consultation with investment managers and a review of the benchmark rating. Hastings is committed to maintaining an average ESG rating of “A” on its fixed income portfolio, based on MSCI ratings (scale CCC–AAA).
At Hastings, negative screening focuses on three sectors: tobacco, controversial weapons, and coal. These sectors have been excluded following internal considerations, stakeholder demand, industry review, and consultation with investment managers.
Norms-based screening is also undertaken, and there is quarterly reporting to the Investment Committee on companies that do not meet the principles of the UN Global Compact. The Investment Committee then makes decisions on further actions together with investment managers.
As Hastings does not have any direct equity investments, it does not partake in voting activities.
UN PRI status and ESG practices are included as part of external investment manager selection. All of Hastings current external investment managers are signatories to the UN PRI and have responsible investment policies.
Hastings reports quarterly to the insurance subsidiary’s Investment Committee. The reporting includes ESG ratings and confirmation of exposure to excluded or sensitive sectors, facilitating a review of the guidelines, and allowing changes to controversial positions. The Investment Committee may also report to the subsidiary’s Board of Directors when breaches arise or when recommending changes to the Responsible Investment framework.
More information in Sampo Group’s Sustainability Report.