Our global approach to sustainability

Across our diverse portfolio of investments in public and private markets, we seek to be a global leader of sustainable asset management, creating long-term value for our stakeholders while helping realize a sustainable trajectory for the global economy.

What sets us apart?

Our approach to sustainability combines a macro perspective on ESG risks, opportunities, and imperatives with the depth of local market expertise. As both an asset manager and owner/operator, we have a unique perspective on navigating sustainability's systemic challenges and opportunities. These facets of our identity help us develop and synthesize innovative global frameworks for sustainability analysis and asset management that work in the local context.

  • A+ from UN PRI

    For ESG strategy and governance, and ESG integration in listed equity and fixed income SSA .1

    Learn more
  • PRI Leaders' Group 2020

    Named to PRI Leaders’ Group 2020 for excellence in climate reporting.2

  • 900+ corporate engagements globally in 2019

    To advance the sustainability objectives of our clients as well as improve the operating strength of the companies in which we invest.

  • 3.1 million metric tons of C02 removed annually

    Over the past five years through our managed forests and farmland.3

  • 80% of our global real estate portfolio certified to a green building standard


  • More than 1 billion trees planted

    By our timber management capability since 1985.3

All information as of December 31, 2019, unless otherwise indicated.

1. SSA refers to sovereigns, supranationals, and agency bonds.

2. As of September 18, 2020.

3. Refers to work undertaken by Hancock Natural Resource Group, a Manulife Investment Management company. 

Source: Manulife Investment Management and UN PRI. 

Our sustainability leadership

Sustainability leadership matters to us, our clients, and other stakeholders. Many of our public markets investment practices rest on focused ESG research that both serves our clients’ portfolios and influences the discourse and practice of sustainable asset management. We also strive to be a sustainability leader throughout the value chain supporting the assets we own and operate.

Related viewpoints

Timberland investing and the promise of carbon markets

Timberland investing has long been hailed as a portfolio diversifier with attractive risk/return characteristics. Now there’s another reason to lean in—see why.
Read more

Navigating ESG integration in China A-shares investing

While ESG standards are being integrated into the China A-share universe, limited structured disclosure, inconsistent third-party ratings, and a shortage of quality data make progress a challenge. Active ESG engagement cuts through the noise and can guide the investment decision-making process for active managers.
Read more

Sustainable investing in the pandemic and beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed new ESG risk factors and new ways in which investors need to view those risks—both in ongoing portfolio management and in preparing for the next black swan event.
Read more

ESG integration and engagement

Our approach to ESG integration spans our public and private markets capabilities. In public markets, we seek to create a positive impact by engaging with investee companies to mitigate ESG-related challenges and enhance ESG-related opportunities. In private markets, our approach varies by asset class and includes an assessment of material ESG issues that helps us protect and enhance the value of the assets we own or operate.

Read our 2019 sustainable and responsible investing report
  • Sustainability is a key part of our investment practice

    • We monitor ESG issues across portfolios, watchlists, and research coverage lists
    • We maintain research engines to help analysts identify and categorize their ESG-related research and views
    • We conduct regular investment risk reviews for strategies across regions
  • Bilateral engagement can build company and portfolio resilience

    • When we meet with company management teams, we engage them on questions about their risk exposure to ESG factors and their management of that exposure
    • We summarize and centrally share our findings on our global research platform
    • We monitor the progress companies make toward the objectives we define
  • We actively vote our proxies

    • We believe proxy voting is a core responsibility and important lever in encouraging improving ESG practices
    • Our proxy voting activities particularly focus on companies in which we have a significant holding

For information on our private market ESG practices, visit our private markets capabilites page.

Ownership with integrity

Where we own and operate assets, acting with integrity means holding ourselves to a high standard of sustainability. We do this both to protect and grow the value of those assets themselves and for the benefit of our stakeholders.

Learn more about our investments in private markets and approach to ESG
  • Timber and agriculture sustainability report

    As a steward of agricultural and forest holdings, we're committed to conducting all of our business activities in a manner that recognizes the need to preserve and enhance the quality of our environment and local communities, empower our people, and provide market rate returns for our clients. Simply put, adopting sustainable and responsible Investing practices is who we are and how we do business.

    Read our sustainability report for timber and agriculture
  • Real estate sustainability report

    Our approach to sustainability in real estate is based on responsible property investment that aligns with global standards. This means we incorporate ESG considerations into all our investment management and operational practices across the real estate value chain, from asset acquisition through property management and leasing.

    Read our real estate sustainability report

Collaborative engagement and affiliations

We help steer industry-changing sustainability initiatives across the global capital markets. Through collaborating with industry peers, we amplify our impact by working with other investors to address ESG concerns among the companies, industries, and markets in our collective orbit of influence.


    Some of our affiliations

  • Developed by investors, for investors, the UN PRI fosters signatories' voluntary commitment to contribute to developing a more sustainable global financial system.

    Learn more
  • Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces.

    Learn more
  • Climate Action 100+ is a five-year collaborative investor initiative to engage with the world's largest greenhouse gas emitters to foster alignment with the Paris Agreement goals.

    Learn more
  • The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world.

    Learn more
  • The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark defines the global standard for assessing the sustainability performance of real estate companies and funds.

    Learn more

Our sustainability policies and disclosures