WhyCFA UK’s mission is to educate, connect and inspire the investment community to build a sustainable future.
For us, building a sustainable future means contributing to the development of an investment ecosystem that is economically, socially and environmentally viable and resilient and that takes into account the eﬀect that today’s decisions and actions may have on future generations. Sustainable investing can improve long-term financial and investment performance by optimising capital allocation, whilst having a positive impact on society and the environment. Generating long-term sustainable investment returns requires stable, well-functioning and well-governed environmental, social and economic systems.
Our greatest contribution lies in our educational work, alongside our eﬀorts to advocate for sustainability. We also bring investment professionals together to discuss sustainability issues relevant to the industry and their roles.
CFA UK has built a reputation in recent years as the leading developer of sustainable investment certiﬁcates. We have developed three certiﬁcates over the past four years: the Certiﬁcate in ESG Investing, the Certiﬁcate in Climate and Investing and the Certiﬁcate in Impact Investing.
The Society launched the Certiﬁcate in ESG Investing in 2019 and transferred the administration and ownership of the certiﬁcate to CFA Institute in 2021 to enable the certiﬁcate to be oﬀered globally. More than 35,000 people have registered for the certiﬁcate since its launch.
In 2022, we launched the Certiﬁcate in Climate and Investing to provide investment professionals with the new skills and knowledge needed to see the investment universe through a climate lens. More than 1,500 people have registered for the certiﬁcate since its launch.
This year, we developed the Certiﬁcate in Impact Investing, which is now being piloted.
We believe that there is a critical need for sustainable investment skills, behaviours and standards. This year, our advocacy work in this area was considerable. We engaged with the Financial Conduct Authority, HM Treasury, the Dept for Work and Pensions and the Transition Plan Taskforce on issues such as the regulation of ESG ratings, sustainability reporting standards, transition plan disclosures and the governance, incentives and competencies required to support sustainable investing. In addition, we published a report on social investment for pension trustees.
CFA UK is a thought leader on sustainable investing and regularly produces events, articles, podcasts and videos to support the continuing education of investment professionals on a variety of topics, including sustainability. In the past financial year, we ran 12 sustainability‐related events (including a major conference, Investing in the net zero transition, in May 2023) which generated more than 1,200 registrations. We also broadcast eight episodes of our climate change podcast series, with an average of just over 500 plays for each.
Lastly, in June 2023, we launched our Sustainability Community, which brings members together to move the needle on sustainable investing through engagement, events, networking, shared experiences and debate.
HowEncouraging investment professionals to build their sustainable investment competencies formally and informally through education and networking is one aspect of our role in building a sustainable future. We also are conscious of our own need to operate sustainably.
In the financial year ending June 2022, the Committee received a report on the Society’s carbon emissions from an independent third party. In the year to June 2022, CFA UK’s carbon emissions were 33.38 tonnes.
The report’s recommendations to lower our carbon emissions were related to:
- Our events: Run fewer in‐person events, switch to more plant‐based food and to work with climate‐friendly venues,
- Our office: Lower our office emissions and reduce our use of paper, and
- Our travel: Educate employees on how to travel more sustainably.
We have made progress on the first two recommendations – most notably by moving from an office with an energy efficiency rating of ‘E’ to a new office with a ‘B’ rating, but also by incorporating sustainability into our venue selection and reducing printing.
CFA UK remains committed to improving the investment management profession by promoting inclusion, diversity, and equity balance within the industry to serve the best interests of our increasingly diverse society and our DEI and Black Professional’s networks have been active over the past financial year in pursuit of that goal. For instance, this year 35 individuals participated in our Young Women in Investment programme, earning 14 internships across five investment firms.
That work is governed by the Society’s Sustainability Committee, which reports to the Board. The Committee’s purpose is to make recommendations to the Board on the development and communication of CFA UK’s sustainability goals to serve members, the investment profession, and society.
The committee’s priorities are:
- assessing CFA UK’s role in aligning to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the UK business environment,
- raising awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and
- the Investment committee’s decarbonisation of the investment portfolio.