Sustainable investing has increased in importance over recent years, as more people become aware of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and whether their investments are helping to combat these - or if they may actually be contributing towards them.

This page aims to explain what we mean when we talk about sustainable investing and evidence our approach to sustainability at Castlefield.  

Who we are

Castlefield is an award-winning, employee-owned investment management and financial planning business, with a reputation for being at the forefront of ethical and sustainable investing.

Below we outline some of the ways that Castlefield has established this reputation and provide evidence to support our sustainability credentials.  

Growth Blk

Investing sustainably for over two decades

Structure Blk

Genuinely rigorous and authentic approach

Expert Team Black

A committed team of over 50 co-owners

Our Purpose

The Castlefield story began in 2002. When founder, John Eckersley, started Castlefield he defined a very clear purpose for the business:

"Castlefield exists to help its clients and co-owners (employees) to achieve their personal goals. It’s that simple. We do this in such a way as to respect the interests of the widest range of stakeholders."

"Having this purpose makes it impossible for us not to invest sustainably. We summarise this purpose as: ‘gathering assets, to do good’."

Our proprietary investment approach

To ensure ethical considerations are consistently incorporated throughout our investment approach, we developed a proprietary responsible investment approach - the ‘B.E.S.T’ framework.

Our responsible and sustainable ‘B.E.S.T’ investment approach is integral to everything we do. It isn’t just a product line or optional approach.

This investment philosophy is distinctive in that it centres around the principle that there is more to consider than simply present-day financial factors. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are an integral part of any long-term investment process and we have built our approach accordingly, believing that the integration of ESG throughout the process delivers better outcomes for all stakeholders. NB: while our Real Return fund follows the B.E.S.T. sustainable process, it is not included within our Sustainable Fund Range. 

Learn more about B.E.S.T

We will not invest in companies that derive more than 10% of revenue or operating profit (whichever percentage is higher) from controversial industries, products and activities.

How we screen investments

We want our investors to have confidence that their values are reflected in their investments. Our Sustainable Fund Range has been designed to provide an option for investors who are seeking to align their investments with their values.

The screening of investments within the Sustainable Fund Range seeks to avoid exposure to companies involved in controversial sectors or activities - for example tobacco, high interest lending, oil & gas. More details can be found in our screening policy at the link below.

Castlefield Sustainable Screening Policy

We're proud affiliates of a range of worthy organisations

Positive investment themes

Considering positive investment themes when making investment decisions is important at Castlefield. We believe responsible business practices, along with sustainable products and services, will allow companies to produce better investment returns over the long term.

Our positive themes provide a framework for assessing the positive credentials of any individual investment.

Learn more about our positive investment themes and how holdings align to them at this link.

NB: while our Real Return Fund follows our B.E.S.T. investment process, we do not include it within our Sustainable Fund Range.

Learn More

Our approach to Net Zero

In December 2021, Castlefield announced its net zero policy, with commitments to achieving net zero in our own operations and supply chain, along with achieving net zero in our investment portfolio.

Castlefield's sustainable funds have a higher proportion of assets invested in sustainable industries than their respective peers (i.e. renewable energy, education).

Independent ESG performance analysis (Impact Cubed)

We consulted with independent impact consultants from Impact Cubed, to provide a detailed analysis on key ESG performance metrics for our sustainable fund range.

Compared to mainstream benchmarks, they found that funds within the Castlefield Sustainable Fund Range have lower environmental impacts and lower exposure to industries that are socially and environmentally damaging (i.e. tobacco, gambling, mining).

Additionally, Castlefield's sustainable funds have a higher proportion of assets invested in sustainable industries than their respective peers (i.e. renewable energy, education). Further results for each fund can be found in our Annual Stewardship Report – linked to below.

Download a copy of the latest Annual Stewardship Report

Please download the latest Annual Stewardship Report using the link below.

This includes details of our Thoughtful Investment Approach, Impact Reporting, Stewardship, Engagement, Case Studies and Voting Activity.

Download Annual Stewardship Report

UK Stewardship Code

Our annual stewardship report closely follows the Financial Reporting Council’s UK Stewardship Code reporting requirements. It covers a broad range of subjects and is primarily designed to outline our approach to sustainable and responsible investment.

We are proud members of the UK Stewardship Code - recognised globally as a best practice benchmark in investment stewardship.

The UK Stewardship Code sets high stewardship standards and is built around 12 principles of effective stewardship. It was updated in 2021 with a greater emphasis placed on transparency standards around stewardship activities than the 2012 code it replaced. 

Investing sustainably for the long term

As long-term investors, we take our stewardship role seriously and appreciate we have a duty to represent our clients values as we build relationships with company management and investor relation teams.

These actions can have significant influence and help to build support for the adoption of best practice across the market over time. A number of case examples from investee firms have been included within this year's report to showcase these in practice.

We hope this report demonstrates the importance of stewardship and engagement throughout Castlefield, and goes someway to explain why we are known as The Thoughtful Investor ®. 

“Being an employee-owned business gives us the chance truly to influence our own destiny and be in control of how the business develops."

"Importantly every one of us is empowered to make suggestions and come forward with ways to improve how we work.”

Ewelina Niziolek-Wilson


Employee-owned - Castlefield ownership structure

Castlefield is proud to be an employee-owned business. We believe this creates a culture of shared accountability, greater commitment and encourages a longer-term outlook.

For our clients, this brings a number of additional benefits, than a more traditional structure. Some of the benefits of employee ownership include:

  • Higher productivity as staff are invested and have a voice.
  • Increased employee engagement and motivation.
  • Lower staff turnaround and improved retention of talent.
  • Team are recognised for their contributions and commitments

You can find more about our EO at this link.

Employee Ownership

CORE Values

Castlefield wouldn’t be where it is now if it wasn’t for our people. It’s what makes us unique. One thing that brings us together is our ‘core’ values. Regardless of your role, our values are universal for everyone at Castlefield and empowers each of us to be the best that we can be:

  • Creating a sustainable business – We act to support and protect the future of our business
  • Ownership – We act like business owners because we are business owners
  • Responsibility – we value the role each of us plays
  • Empowerment – we have the power and freedom to make our business better


The financial services sector is rife with acronyms and industry-specific language, along with similar terms being used interchangeably (e.g. responsible, ethical, ESG, SRI).

At Castlefield, we try hard to dispel as much jargon as possible.

With such a range of terminology, we've put together this handy glossary - your guide to some of the most commonly used investment and financial industry terms.