abrdn plc, formerly Standard Life Aberdeen plc, is a United Kingdom-based global investment company headquartered in Edinburgh. Its business is structured around three vectors: investment solutions, advisory and personal wealth. It has around 5,000 employees globally and manages GBP 508 billion of assets in 2022. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
Abrdn plc identified and prioritised its impacts through a materiality assessment and has set targets for its prioritised impacts. The financial institution publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment, has a gender-balanced board of directors where 45% of the members are women and discloses a target to increase the representation of women in senior leadership up to 40% by 2025. It has an engagement policy where it describes its approach on sustainability themes and impact topics with investees which includes a clear framework with success criteria and escalation points. Furthermore, the financial institution publishes a stewardship report describing how the engagement policy is applied in practice and it publishes case studies describing where it has engaged successfully with investees on sustainability themes and impact topics.
As a member of the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, Abrdn plc has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050 and discloses the key sectors and companies it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change. The financial institution also discloses that alignment with the Paris Agreement is one of its engagement topics and it requires its investees to have a strategy aligned with the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, the financial institution discloses its process for identifying its nature- and biodiversity-related impacts across all its financing activities and it requiresits investees to have a strategy addressing their nature- and biodiversity-related impacts.
Abrdn plc has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights and the ILO core labour standards. The financial institution describes the process for identifying, assessing and mitigating human rights risks and impacts in its investment activities. It also has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption. Furthermore, the financial institution has a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights and bribery and corruption concerns.
Abrdn plc could disclose interim absolute emissions reduction targets at the group level, such as a 45% reduction in financed emissions by 2030. Furthermore, the financial institution has an opportunity to disclose its financing activities devoted to climate solutions. Regarding nature and biodiversity, the financial institution could commit to minimising its negative impacts or investing in regenerative solutions.
In terms of diversity, Abrdn plc could disclose the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by age group. While the financial institution discloses that it directs finance towards SMEs and low-income developing countries, it has an opportunity to provide the aggregated amounts directed towards those groups.