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Our views 23 October 2019

Back to the future: a decade of sustainable investing

By Mike Fox, Head of Sustainable Investments

5 min read

To mark the 10th anniversary of two of our funds – the Royal London Sustainable Diversified Trust and Royal London Sustainable World Trust – Mike Fox, our Head of Sustainable Investments, reflects on how sustainable investing has changed over the last decade.

The classic device for taking readers back in time is to reference Apple products. In this case, when we launched the funds in 2009, the original iPad wouldn’t arrive for another six months, while consumers were moaning about the battery life of the new iPhone 3GS. Talking to our computers, like we now do with Siri, seemed a world away.

In other circles, global stock markets were more-or-less at their post-global financial crisis lows; Gordon Brown was still Prime Minister, with the fresh-faced David Cameron and Nick Clegg a year from taking office; the Nissan Leaf electric car was a year from launch in Japan and the US; and, while the UK government had just doubled the subsidy to install solar panels on your roof, this remained a very avant garde way to reduce your energy costs. The world has certainly changed.

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