Investment guide

Investing in change

Your investments are our first priority

But we’re also conscious about their impact on the world we live in. That’s why the shares and funds the Personal Portfolio Funds invest in are responsible investments – and they have been since 2016. 

By embracing responsible investing, you help the planet and could help your long-term returns, too. 

That's why we are targeting 50% of assets under management to be on a net zero trajectory by 2025, increased to 70% by 2030: 

  • 50% is considered net zero, aligned or aligning by 2025
  • 70% is considered net zero, aligned or aligning by 2030
  • 100% is considered net zero, aligned, aligning or under engagement to become aligned by 2030

What is responsible investing?

It’s an investment approach that Coutts, the investment manager for the Personal Portfolio Funds, uses for all the shares and funds they select.

Responsible investing focuses on companies and industries who positively affect our world in three key areas: environmental, social, and governance (ESG):


Put simply, this looks at how companies you invest in impact the environment. Think low carbon emissions, water usage, and encouraging attitudes towards climate change, sustainability, and renewable energy.


How the companies help to move society forward – by looking after their staff and data properly, by considering all health impacts, and avoiding unethical labour practices and controversial supply chains.


This area looks at companies’ attitudes towards equality and diversity, executive pay, tax, and leadership. It also considers bribery controls, health and safety procedures, and shareholder rights – all to help ensure a fair and stable market environment.

Why ESG factors are important for investments

These factors are not based on moralistic beliefs, they make good financial sense. 

That’s because there’s a strong link between stock price performance, and companies who have good corporate practices.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are also important drivers in the creation of long-term shareholder value. They should deliver better and more sustainable outcomes for society.

Does responsible investing affect returns?

Market data tells us that by being a responsible investor, you could potentially reduce your downside risk and see a positive impact on your returns. 

Whenever there is a market shock, for example, statistics show that those invested in products that consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors have lost less money – and over the long term, have made more.

Source: NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business examine the relationship between ESG and Financial Performance in more than 1,000 research papers from 2015 – 2020. (Next paper due in 2025)

How responsible investing is part of our DNA

As a bank, we want to be climate positive by 2025 – so you can see that we take the environment as seriously as we take responsible investing.

Now, we’ve already made big changes – including significantly reducing energy consumption in our branches, and sourcing 100% of branch electricity from renewable sources – but we need to go further.

What's in it for you?

A little peace of mind, knowing that you have invested in funds that care and the reassurance that your financial returns today don't negatively impact the environment and society over the longer term.

You’ll also have an investment manager that considers all the possible factors available – to help give you the best chance of securing your financial future.

Learn more about investments

Whether you’re an experienced investor or just finding out what investing is, we’ve got a range of articles to help you understand more about investing.

We regularly update our articles depending on what’s happening in the market so check back for future updates.