Helping Esmée Fairbairn Foundation assess their
responsible investment options

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest grant-making foundations in the UK helping improve the quality of life for people and communities. In 2013 Esmée decided to review the approach that applied to its investment portfolio looking at options for responsible investment. 

As part of this work Esmée asked ESG Communications to prepare a paper outlining the pros and cons of the different approaches to responsible investment - from ‘ESG integration’ to ‘active ownership’, ‘screening’ and ‘impact investment’. We looked at each responsible investment approach in the context of the Foundation’s portfolio and assessed each one’s advantages and disadvantages.  On top of this analysis we produced seven detailed case studies from other Foundations and investors around the world – each of whom had taken a different approach to responsible investment.

From this detailed, original research we compiled a list of issues for Esmée to consider in their decision-making, such as the likely impact on returns, whether the potential for ESG engagement is greater in one asset class than another and the potential for collaboration.

The Foundation has since signed up to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment as a first step to deepening its responsible investment approach. 


“We really enjoyed working with ESG Communications and found their insights and experience invaluable.
I’d highly recommend them”.

Claire Brown, Finance and Investment Director, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation