Infrastructure fund of the year: Maple-Brown Abbott

Maple-Brown Abbott has committed to align all portfolios across its entire global listed infrastructure (GLI) strategy, with more than $3 billion in assets, to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The firm has also set a target of a 50% reduction in emissions intensity by 2030 relative to a 2020 baseline, for all companies held in the fund.

Last year, the firm released its Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) report, just after becoming a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAMI), which its portfolio companies are subject to. As of December 2021, 95% of GLI portfolio companies had some form of a net zero target.

The report consists of a detailed stock-specific scenario analysis on all portfolio companies, not just a subset or selection, which is the norm. Maple-Brown Abbott’s inaugural TCFD report quantifies the risks and opportunities found in the listed infrastructure investment universe and uses the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) net zero scenario, among others, for what it says is consistent and impartial analysis across stocks.

“We look for companies providing infrastructure solutions that will meaningfully contribute to decarbonisation, mobility and digitalisation,” said Andrew Maple-Brown, co-founder and managing director of Maple-Brown Abbott GLI. “We’ve stepped up our environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability research and engagement efforts to reflect this.”

Those engagement efforts consisted of 28 dedicated ESG meetings with 75% of portfolio companies, by position weight, and 50% of the ESG discussions focused on climate risks, emissions and climate-related reporting.