Sustainability Digital – Sept 2021

Case study: The role of natural capital in decarbonising portfolios

Nature is increasingly being viewed as a real economic asset – “natural capital”. Identifying the natural capital assets that can be used most effectively to offset carbon, such as land and forestry, can provide a real advantage in the path to decarbonising investment portfolios. This session examined the portfolio implications of transitioning to net zero with a specific focus on what benefit an allocation to natural capital can bring.

Click here to view Sarah’s slides 


Sarah Bratton Hughes is the Head of Sustainability, North America. Her responsibilities include leading the sustainability strategy and ESG integration in North America. She joined Schroders in 2011 and is based in New York.
Previously, Sarah was an Investment Director at Schroders which involved supporting and representing the Schroders Sustainability Team as well as the Schroders US Small Cap and Schroders US Small & Mid Cap investment capabilities to clients and prospective clients. She was also responsible for ESG integration in North America.
Sarah was an Associate Product Manager at Schroders from 2014 to 2017, which involved supporting the US Equities teams and representing the Schroders US Small & Mid Cap and Schroders US Large Cap investment capabilities to clients and prospective clients. She was a product executive on the same team from 2011-2014.
Prior to joining Schroders, Sarah was a Senior Analyst Investment Performance at JP Morgan Asset Management from 2010 to 2011, which involved supporting investor and client inquiries relating to investment performance reviews. She was also a Client Service Associate at JP Morgan Chase from 2007 to 2010, which involved monitoring and implementing new account openings as well as maintenance of existing accounts. Qualifications: BA in Economics from St. Francis College; BSc in Business Management from St. Francis College.


Tate has been an investment industry media publisher and conference producer since 1996. In his media career, Tate has launched and overseen dozens of print and electronic publications. He is the chief executive and major shareholder of Conexus Financial, which was established in 2005, and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

The company hosts more than 20 conferences and events globally each year and publishes three digital publications, including the global website and strategy newsletter for global institutional investors, Professional Planner for financial planners, accountants and private bankers in Australia and Investment Magazine for Australian superfunds and institutional investors. One of the company’s signature events is the bi-annual Fiduciary Investors Symposium attended by global asset owners and hosted in the Americas and Europe.

Conexus Financial’s events aim to place the responsibilities of investors in wider societal and political contexts, as well as promote the long-term stability of markets and sustainable retirement incomes.

Tate served for seven years on the board of Australia’s most high profile homeless charity, The Wayside Chapel; and he has underwritten the welfare of 60,000 people in 28 villages throughout Uganda via The Hunger Project. In 2021 was appointed as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) for significant service to the community through charitable initiatives.

Investor Response

Bess Joffe is head of responsible investment for Church Commissioners for England and has just completed natural capital mapping of their portfolio.
The asset owner co-founded the Nature Action 100+ initiative, which is a biodiversity programme yet to be launched and modelled based on Climate Action 100+
As a member of the Science Based Targets Network Corporate Engagement Programme, the Church Commissioners will also play a role in co-designing nature targets.

Join the discussion