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ESG: A moral and financial imperative for Mayfair Capital

1 September 2020

ESG: A moral and financial imperative for Mayfair Capital

Environmental sustainability is the most urgent challenge facing humanity.  As the number of people occupying our planet expands, the increased consumption of finite resources intensifies our exposure to the terrifying implications of climate change. The building sector contributes 30% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions according to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the UN agency which advocates responsible investment. Managing land and buildings efficiently makes more prudent use of existing resources and reduces emissions. Thus, property investors have an essential role to play in supporting environmental objectives, the ‘E’ in ESG.

At Mayfair Capital, environmental considerations are central to the way we manage our business and our portfolios. We have applied responsible property investment principles for many years, well before ESG became so prominent. This reflects the moral imperative of managing real estate in a way that promotes the public good. We are, after all, mere stewards of land. Whilst environmental factors are likely to be most relevant to our role as investors in physical buildings, social and governance factors (the ‘S’ and the ‘G’ in ESG) still have a major role to play.


Our Fund for charity investors, the Property Income Trust for Charities (PITCH), has strong ethical investment principles embedded within the Trust documentation. It will not, for example, acquire property occupied by any business which relies primarily on revenue from alcohol, tobacco, armaments, gambling or the sex industry. Our other Funds do not have such stringent parameters but are nevertheless governed by our company wide-ESG policies which determine our investment and asset management approach. PITCH’s Ethical Policy can be viewed here.

ESG not only makes moral sense, it makes financial sense too. Property is an income-producing asset. Owning and operating a building that is managed for people and which uses land and energy efficiently will produce stronger, more enduring income streams than an inefficient, energy hungry building which alienates its human users.

Both ESG factors and financial returns shape our investment strategies to target assets for which occupational demand will endure both today and tomorrow. By targeting quality assets in accessible locations with low energy usage and compelling ESG attributes, we are also acquiring assets that will be most attractive to occupiers over the long-term. Buildings with strong ESG credentials usually attract price premiums compared with those with poor credentials so we must have a strong conviction in our asset selection. This underlines why ESG is fundamental to our investment approach. We also seek to improve the buildings that we acquire through new capital investment, making them better aligned to ESG objectives to generate more secure income streams.

At a corporate level, we understand that ESG can lead to better business outcomes in much the same way that, at a portfolio level, it can achieve better financial performance. Striving for an inclusive working environment which promotes wellbeing, social causes and the environment keeps our team happier, healthier and more productive. Examples of our corporate ESG approach include our annual charity quiz night where we have raised significant funds over the last 10 years for our chosen charities, and the provision of two days per year on top of annual holiday allowance for every staff member to undertake charity work and put some of their time back into community based projects. Successful business performance is intwined within an active ESG approach which we place at the heart of all that we do.

You can view our Responsible Property Investment commitment here.


Tom Duncan

Senior Associate – Investment Strategy and Risk


Property Income Trust for Charities

A Fund managed by Swiss Life Asset Managers UK Limited

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