Why invest with a focus on social issues?

A company is a group of people with a common objective, which is none other than to provide a product or service that meets a need of third parties, i.e., society. Therefore, investing in companies whose practices in relation to their employees, the community and society as a whole show high standards of social commitment and which, in turn, develop activities aimed at meeting a social challenge or need, at first sight, seems an attractive idea. We are all links in a chain.

As Inma Puig comments in her book "The Emotional Revolution", in the American army it was found that caring for the wounded and dead soldiers on the battle front made the morale of the rest of the soldiers higher and they performed better and better. The same is true in business, because results come through people. If you don't take care of a person, you will have someone who is impaired and will not be able to perform fully.

It is possible to transfer the same to investments, seeking long-term growth and profitability themes, which at the same time contribute to the progress of people and society and, therefore, to improving social welfare. How can we contribute to sustainable, inclusive and egalitarian development? By investing in companies and growth themes with a high potential for long-term financial return and that also contribute to a social objective: whether through the development of activities such as health, education, financial inclusion, or the development of sustainable cities and communities; or the implementation of decent work practices, equality, egalitarian and inclusive growth and respect for human rights.

It is a proven fact that work is the key to a dignified and independent life, building our social identity. At SOLTRA, Centro Especial de Empleo de Iniciativa Social, we are well aware that employment is fundamental and is the basis for the economic, physical and mental well-being of people. SOLTRA, with a staff of 884 employees in which more than 90% of the people have a disability, and with a presence in three countries, has been creating opportunities that favor the work of people with different abilities for 22 years, promoting their autonomy and social inclusion, creating jobs for them and allowing their inclusion in the world of work.

Another good example is Fundación A la Par, where they educate and train people with intellectual disabilities for their full participation in the labor market, making our society more sustainable, with diversity as a source of wealth. They already have 165 employees with disabilities and 185 students between school, campus and occupational workshops. Their goal is clear: to continue demonstrating that, with the necessary support, people with disabilities can work like everyone else. They know very well that these people with intellectual disabilities feel useful to society by working and their self-esteem and independence are strengthened.

Speaking of financial markets, it is also possible to contribute to these social objectives and the universe of companies is very broad. To give a few examples, one of them is online education platforms with a wide variety of content that improve the level of education while lowering training costs and improving accessibility to education.

Another is investment in companies belonging to the building materials industry that offer sustainable thermal insulation solutions for energy-efficient housing or to protect buildings against cold or heat, thus improving the quality of life of families in their homes. A further case in point are companies dedicated to offering sustainable mobility solutions in cities, as well as telecommunications companies that seek to connect the unconnected, companies in the insurance sector that contribute to bridging the financial gap and supporting sustainable development in emerging countries, companies that develop systems for measuring and controlling pollution levels that help protect the planet and develop a sustainable society, or companies in the health sector that manufacture devices that enable patients to continuously monitor their pathologies, thus achieving a better quality of life.

This is how Finaccess Social Commitment Europe Equity is managed: an Article 9 (SFDR) European equity fund that invests in companies whose practices demonstrate high standards of social commitment and whose activities contribute directly to achieving a number of sustainable objectives. This fund seeks to combine high financial return potential and a clear social contribution objective.

Investing in companies whose activities address the major challenges of our society and build the society of the future is an opportunity and a responsibility for all of us.

If you change, the world changes.

Column by Pilar Bravo, Business Development Director Finaccess Value AV