Environmental, social and governance – ESG – is a term that sums up real-world issues that interact with investment decisions and performance. As such, ESG considerations are an important element of our investment approach.

Here, we focus on social issues. The UKRF believe there is compelling evidence that sustainable business practices lead to better risk-adjusted returns and outcomes in the long-term. Social issues such as gender equality, diversity and equity represent key factors in our investment criteria.

Get an at-a-glance flavour of this topic with the snapshot, then read further from our range of articles and case studies below.


In this area of the site, we focus on social issues.

Workers’ rights and conditions


Diversity, equity and inclusion – fair treatment for all, whatever their background or status

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Impact of industry on surrounding communities

factory and houses

Online security

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Socially responsible investment is a common term for seeking good investment returns while choosing assets in line with moral or ethical principles.

Our specialist advisers screen the companies where we invest so we can track their business practices. If these fall short in some way (say, working conditions or diversity), the advisers might engage with them proactively rather than simply end the investment.

Towards a better outcome – for the UKRF and beyond…

Using our influence and targeting our investments to:

Promote good working conditions

Protect employee rights

Raise awareness of diversity and inclusion issues (for example, gender pay gap)

Influence best practice health and safety standards

Improve and increase privacy and data security controls

Work with communities to enhance both our property assets and the local area

All these activities allow us to help the businesses, organisations and regions we invest in become more successful and sustainable, leading to greater long-term returns for the UKRF and its members.

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Bringing social issues to light

While all three ESG issues (environmental, social and governance) are vitally important, most people find the environmental aspect the easiest to think about. The social element of ESG is harder to define, but read more about how this is defined here.

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Case Study

Helping businesses change from within

The main method that the UKRF uses to influence businesses on social issues – and meet the social element of its responsible investment aims – is engagement, through our stewardship service provider, EOS at Federated Hermes (EOS).

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Find our full set of documents about responsible investment on one page, including our Stewardship Code submission.

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