The world is changing before our eyes. And the watchwords of this new era cover concepts such as the circular economy, the energy transition and sustainable development. Foremost in people’s minds are notions such as community, corporate responsibility, environmental awareness and trust. And the business landscape is peppered with terms like accountability, transparency and sustainability.
Investment Quorum’s clients are a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using businesses as a force for good. As such, they want to work for, buy from and invest in businesses they believe in. Businesses that are aligned with their own values. Businesses they trust.
Investment Quorum, like its clients, knows that society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by governments alone. We know that profits and growth can be harnessed and used as a means to a greater end: positive impact for people, communities and the environment, as well as for our children and our grandchildren. We know that – as investors – we are in the privileged position of being able to work towards reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment and stronger communities.
And at IQ, we do not shy away from practising what we preach. And it is for that reason that we are extremely proud to announce that we have been awarded B Corp status – private certification awarded to companies in recognition of their social and environmental performance.
The certification process began back in 2020, and in the 24 months or so that have elapsed since then, our entire operation has been meticulously reviewed by a B Lab analyst. The positive impact that we make in the areas of serving our clients, governance, employee engagement, community and the environment has been closely scrutinised, together with the financial services that we deliver.
The average score that businesses in our industry achieve is 51. Investment Quorum was awarded an impressive 88.1 and was particularly lauded for its employee engagement. Indeed, the company is entirely employee-led, which is undoubtedly a key factor in this engagement. We were also praised for our diversity, our inclusivity and our commitment to gender equality (women account for more than 50% of the IQ team).
As far as our environmental performance is concerned, the whole team has gone to significant efforts over the past 24 months to reduce its carbon emissions and cut down on paper use.
Regarding the financial services that we deliver, the assessment process looked at the measures we implement to examine the ESG credentials of a number of our strategies – including our Sustainable Strategy which launched in 2021. Our allocated B Impact analyst looked at the state-of-the-art rating and evaluation system we have developed. This system factors in a plethora of criteria, such as a given fund’s carbon intensity, its MSCI ESG rating (which measures a company’s resilience to long-term, industry material, environmental, social and governance risks), or whether or not it has signed up to the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment.
The financial services sector is among the most heavily regulated on the planet. So in actual fact, all of the practices for which we have been singled out and applauded are ones which we adopted a long time ago. The truth is, nothing – if anything – will change for our clients. But B Corp certification is a heartening, reassuring rubberstamp… proof that we are held to account, that we are unswerving in the way in which we commit to upholding certain values and that we look after our employees and our other stakeholders – not just our board members. It shows the world that we care about the communities in which we operate.
B Corp certification provides us with a framework within which we will continue to monitor and judge ourselves. We will use it to ensure that we keep supporting our various charity partners and remain committed to promoting employee engagement through diversity and inclusivity. And, of course, carry on providing our clients with opportunities to invest in companies which are helping to address a particular societal problem and are ultimately growing in a way that benefits the planet. We will continue doing all that… but perhaps even more conscientiously than before.