How shared goals and investor collaboration can support the transition to more sustainable choices.

Cutting meat consumption will have a positive effect for biodiversity

Cutting meat consumption is by far and away the most important dietary change we can all make to help combat climate change. It will also have a positive knock-on effect for biodiversity.

As part of our long-term collaboration with the FAIRR (Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return) global investor initiative, we led an investor call with Tesco to better understand its progress on plant-based protein, as part of a wider programme to encourage the industry to set long-term ambitions to expand product offerings and improve supply chain sustainability. 

It is paramount that different players work together in the fight against climate change

“It is paramount that different players work together in the fight against climate change and in the achievement of sustainable global food systems. Aviva Investors, FAIRR and Tesco all support the need for a dietary transition. We believe that developments such as Tesco’s increasing customer offering and sustainability targets will generate more sustainable outcomes for everyone – company, investors, consumers and the environment,” says Andrea Perales Padron, ESG research analyst at Aviva Investors.

Tesco recently announced a new commitment to increase the sales of plant-based meat alternatives by 300 per cent by 2025. It also plans to improve the availability of sustainable foods and is committed to publishing the sales participation of plant proteins. Tesco is currently ranked first on FAIRR’s Sustainable Protein Hub1.

Figure 1: Leading food companies using protein diversification
Source: FAIRR Sustainable Protein Rating, 2020

“We fully recognise the importance of further expanding our plant-based ranges as part of our healthy, sustainable diets strategy. We welcome Aviva Investors’ engagement, and always value the investor voice in raising the profile of such key sustainability issues,” says Jenny Carney, head of ESG, investor engagement at Tesco.

Jo Raven, Senior Manager, research and engagements at FAIRR, agrees, “For investors, an expanding alternative protein portfolio is a lever for growth. More importantly, it is a fundamental and necessary component to manage a company’s exposure to the most material ESG risk facing the food sector.”

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning away from meat-reliant diets will be a gradual process. People will also have differing personal views, tastes and values. However, there are ways to accelerate change – and increasing the quality of options available to consumers represents a significant step in the right direction.

Note: Company names shown are for informational purposes only. This is not an offer to sell, nor a solicitation to buy, securities.

ESG and Climate related engagement, goals and exclusions can vary at the investment strategy and portfolio level depending upon country, jurisdiction and individual client needs.

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