Baillie Gifford  

Environmental activists target Baillie Gifford

Environmental activists target Baillie Gifford

Eco-warrior group Extinction Rebellion has protested outside the Baillie Gifford offices in Edinburgh after the fund house increased a pension scheme’s exposure to fossil fuels.

Dozens of campaigners took to the street outside the firm’s headquarters yesterday (January 14), protesting Baillie Gifford's move to increase the Scottish Parliament’s pension scheme's exposure to oil firm Shell.

The 11-hour sit-in, which included banners which read ‘Baillie Gifford profits from extinction’, was said to be “civil”.

A Baillie Gifford spokesperson said: “We take climate change seriously and are proud of being early investors in some of the world’s most progressive and innovative companies.

“Our focus is on long term growth investments for our clients which means our investment strategies are increasingly geared towards supporting a transition to a low carbon economy.”

The spokesperson added Baillie Gifford believed in being “part of this conversation” while supporting companies on the journey towards a “sustainable future”.

They added: “We are also committed to managing our own environmental impact and our goal is to set a positive example as an investor, an employer, and as a business in the places that we work.”

Ethical and environmentally friendly investing has been a hot topic over the past few years.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing takes into account ESG factors alongside financial markers in the investment decision-making process.

It has become a more commonplace part of the global investment space in recent years, and data shows investors piled a hefty £4.4bn into UK ESG funds in the first 10 months of last year.

Just yesterday a financial advice firm set up specifically to tackle the climate emergency announced it was on the hunt for advisers looking to join its battle against climate change.

imogen.tew@ft.com

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