We are seeking to develop good practice as a foundation, both in relation to transparency concerning the sources of our funds, and an investment policy that does not contradict our grant-giving purposes or compromise our ethical standards. We know that many of our grantees are rightly concerned about these issues. The following information is provided as part of our ongoing efforts to develop better alignment of our grant-giving work with our investment portfolio.

History

Polden-Puckham is a family trust with Quaker connections, and the assets that we hold have been given to the Foundation by some family members.  The capital originated from (formerly) Quaker owned businesses, including Clarks shoes. 

Investment Guidelines and Investment Policy Statement

Our guidelines and our ongoing investment practice are reviewed regularly.  We are continuously seeking to raise the ethical standards of our investments, although we recognise that this may reduce our grant-giving capabilities.

We seek to invest our resources responsibly in ways that either promote our values and mission or at the very least do not contradict or undermine them. We are aware that we should spend a comparable amount of our time and effort on our investment strategy and practice as we do on our grant making.

We invest in accordance with our mission and Quaker values in terms of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria. Hence we avoid investments in Alcohol, Arms, Oil, Gas and other fossil fuels, Mining, Pornography, Supermarkets, Tobacco, Nuclear energy generation, Large banks, Government bonds and Gambling.

With equal importance to the exclusions is low carbon investment: specifically, investment in companies, including suppliers, aiming to operate within a 1.5 degree Centigrade limit. We have set a target for our portfolio to be 100% invested in 'climate sustainable assets' by 2025. These are investments with a major link to climate mitigation technologies or renewable/low-carbon energy development i.e., directly supporting a low carbon transition and also investments indirectly supporting a low carbon economy e.g., investments which are reducing their own GHG emissions year on year, committed to sourcing increasing amounts of renewable energy or those which provide technology, products or services that facilitate the transition. There is recognition that these impact investments may involve a higher level of risk in traditional financial terms.

Otherwise our ESG goal is to promote progressive company behaviour in the companies we invest in through engagement in relation primarily to the environment but also to pay, gender, transparency and other ESG criteria.  We are fully supportive of gender equality, including equal pay, and endeavour to invest in companies that make a commitment to this practice.

Investment managers

Our current investment managers are Rathbone Greenbank.  They are well known in the field of ethical investment in UK, with a long track-record of using the holdings under their stewardship to push for corporate good practice.  They have signed up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), and are assisting us to track the carbon intensity of our investments using data from the Carbon Disclosure Project and other sources. PPCF also has an investment in Clarks shoes, independently of our Rathbone Greenbank portfolio.  

Further Information

Our accounts show a full list of our investments, year on year.  You are welcome to contact the Trust Secretary at the email address below for further information about this issue. We would be pleased to hear from other organisations seeking to promote transparency in this field.

Note:  Please note that this information is provided as a guide to our ongoing practice only, and does not constitute in any respect a commitment or guarantee on our part.

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