Embracing ESG and sustainability

  • Actively integrating ESG into the investment process
  • Wholly committed to climate action 
  • Recognised leaders and award winners in ESG*

The key role global listed infrastructure plays in contributing to the sustainable future of the planet is one of the reasons it is an exciting sector for investors. This opens up many opportunities. It also brings with it increased responsibility to make sure companies are acting on their plans to address environmental issues including climate change risks and decarbonisation, social matters such as diversity and inclusion and human rights and governance factors including executive remuneration and board independence. Having a dedicated ESG infrastructure analyst, who guides the team’s ESG research, allows us to take a focused, consistent and thorough approach to ESG.

* Based on PRI and RIAA ratings and MSCI ESG scores as at January 2022 and Environmental Finance’s Sustainable Investment Awards 2022.

ESG factors
Water plant

Actively integrating ESG

From the moment we consider a stock for inclusion in the portfolio, we look at environmental, social and governance and sustainability factors. We conduct thorough research and engage with companies on these issues every step of the way from selecting the stock for the Focus List through to the decision to invest. We regularly talk to the company’s leadership and their teams to establish if they are on track with their targets to manage ESG risks and contribute to sustainable outcomes and suggest ways they could improve. We also use proxy voting to help drive long-term outcomes.

Read more about how we engage with companies:

Wholly committed to climate action

Climate change and decarbonisation have been at the forefront of our ESG and sustainability research, engagement and proxy voting activities in recent years. As long-dated assets that provide essential services to society, we recognise that infrastructure companies play an integral role in supporting and facilitating the energy transition while also being critical to helping countries, cities and communities build resilience to withstand the current and anticipated effects of climate change.

In 2021, we became a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative. In doing so, we have made a commitment to align the strategy with net zero emissions by 2050 and set an interim emissions target to work towards this goal. We are also an active member of the Climate Action 100+ and a supporter of the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Read about our approach to climate change:

Electricity pylons

Recognised ESG leaders

Our long-standing focus on ESG and sustainability has received external recognition as a leader among listed infrastructure and global equity peer groups. In 2022, the Maple-Brown Abbott Global Infrastructure Fund (UCITS) won the ‘Infrastructure Fund of the Year’ category in Environmental Finance’s Sustainable Investment Awards 2022. This category is open to all infrastructure funds – both listed and unlisted in both the debt and equity spaces – that have a focus on ESG and sustainability factors. In the same year, MSCI ESG Research also awarded the UCITS Fund a AAA ESG Rating, placing it in the top 10% of our infrastructure and global equities peers.

In Maple-Brown Abbott’s most recent PRI assessment (2020), we were awarded A+, the highest possible rating, for our ESG Strategy and Governance.  We were also awarded an A rating for each of our ESG Incorporation and Active Ownership practices. For full details please refer to our most recent PRI Assessment Report and Transparency Report. In 2021, we were identified by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) as applying a ‘Leading’ approach to ESG integration in the Australian market in their most recent Benchmark Report.

ESG awards and affiliations

Produced by MSCI ESG Research as at 10 January 2022.

Want to know more?

To learn about our global listed infrastructure strategy, our approach to ESG or how to invest with us, contact us.

Proxy voting outcomes 

Our approach to proxy voting is aligned with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The following table summarises our latest proxy voting reporting decisions. Further information can be found in our Engagement and stewardship report 2021/22.

MeetingsResolutionsVoted with managementVoted against managementAbstained
Number 34540489510

The data reflects where we have voted with or against management recommendations. Of the 57 'against' votes, 38% related to director appointments, 21% related to remuneration, 18% related to general governance matters, wth the remaining relating to a combination of shareholder rights, climate change and emissions management and Board independence.

ESG and opportunities for investing in listed infrastructure

Andrew Maple-Brown, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Maple-Brown Abbott Global Listed Infrastructure, and Georgia Hall, ESG Analyst, Maple-Brown Abbott Global Listed Infrastructure, spoke to Zenith Investment Partners in an in-depth interview about the infrastructure sector, ESG and the energy transition.

They talked about why ESG is critical to the asset class and what ‘net zero’ means for companies setting targets by 2050. They discussed the energy transition and why regulated electric utilities are the ‘underappreciated’ means to investing in renewables and as an investment opportunity generally.

Thank you to Zenith Investment Partners for providing the opportunity to share these insights.

Maple-Brown Abbott Global Listed Infrastructure's Andrew Maple-Brown and Georgia Hall talk to Zenith Investment Partners' Dan Cave about the listed infrastructure sector and ESG.

This content is intended to provide general information only. It does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek investment advice in respect of your individual circumstances.

MSCI ESG Research LLC’s (“MSCI ESG”) Fund Metrics products (the “Information”) provide environmental, social and governance data with respect to underlying securities within more than 23,000 multi-asset class Mutual Funds and ETFs globally. MSCI ESG is a Registered Investment Adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. MSCI ESG materials have not been submitted to, nor received approval from, the US SEC or any other regulatory body. None of the Information constitutes an offer to buy or sell, or a promotion or recommendation of, any security, financial instrument or product or trading strategy, nor should it be taken as an indication or guarantee of any future performance, analysis, forecast or prediction. None of the Information can be used to determine which securities to buy or sell or when to buy or sell them.

The Information is provided “as is” and the user of the Information assumes the entire risk of any use it may make or permit to be made of the Information.