To be useful to no one is, strictly speaking, to be worthless
René Descartes, Discourse on the Method (1637)
Our 2017 annual conference is the first in a fresh cycle, at the heart of which lies our new company project. This initiative, shared with all our teams in 2016, is above all an ambition. A dream to serve a mission: giving investment a human dimension. A company only makes sense if it embodies a project that its members can rally around. Outlining a mission is about asking: “what is my use” while unveiling our intention, our objective. Ours is to offer our clients a selection of investment solutions that deliver superior returns and offer transparency on their environmental and social impacts. This is about delivering performance with meaning, and providing the tools needed to meet our responsibilities. To summarise, it’s about contributing to responsible finance.
In our ever-changing world, as our companies are disrupted by digitalisation and up against the wall of energy and environmental transition, we can no longer claim that “what I do every day at work or what I do with my money has little bearing, since I help to keep the economy going”.We now know that GDP growth is a poor indicator for measuring improvement in well-being or welfare, but is a good indicator of the speed at which we use natural resources and damage the biosphere and its climate. We have always known that all businesses have different impacts on human society and on the environment. A company can have a negative or a positive contribution – as the many examples shown in this newsletter demonstrate. Choosing to fund one over the other is not trivial. It is our responsibility.
As 2017 begins, our wish for the new year is that we able to exercise our freedom and contribute to the positive economy by making useful investments or divestments.