- Report by The Big Issue Group assesses how well the Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund has delivered on its impact objective to support more inclusive and sustainable development in the UK
- Investment highlights include £14 million invested in social bonds aimed at alleviating the negative effects of the pandemic
(Thursday, 24 February) The Big Issue Group has released the seventh Annual Impact Report for the Threadneedle UK Social Bond Fund, as part of the fund’s disclosure to investors. The report assesses the degree to which the investment strategy’s impact objective to support more inclusive and sustainable development in the UK has been achieved.
Launched in 2014 as the UK’s first mainstream, fixed income social investment offering, the fund is a partnership between global asset management firm Columbia Threadneedle Investments and The Big Issue Group, who acts as the social advisor to the fund.
Every year, the report assesses portfolio holdings according to the bonds’ alignment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their social performance rating (high, medium, low) by outcome area and geography. The investment projects’ impact reporting, transparency and relevant impact evidence are also scored using standards such as the Impact Management Project.
The 2021 report shows that overall, the fund held 225 bonds from 121 issuers including charities, registered social housing providers and publicly listed companies in sectors such as health & social care, utilities & the environment, and housing & property. Most bonds (83%) were scored to have a high or medium social performance rating, with nearly 60% favouring regional development outside the Greater Southeast.
The report also shows a new type of bond introduced to the portfolio, with £14 million invested into so-called “pandemic bonds” which aim to finance both the healthcare response to, and wider economic recovery from, the Covid-19 pandemic.
Examples of such bond issuance includes: