b'Responsible businessResponsibleinvestment throughenvironmental, social and governance awareness Mercia has a long history of making a positive impact in the regions that is as mucha representation of our core corporate values as it is a financial return motivation. We are committed to evolving our Responsible Investment agenda, guided by the UNs Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), because we recognise that good environmental, social and governance (ESG) awareness is associated with better business performance.Environmental Social GovernanceProtecting the world around usProtecting our peopleCareful control of our assetsComprehensive environmental managementGood social awareness is at the heart of Mercia;As an AIM-listed business, good governance is is an important item on Mercias agenda.it drives our culture and determines both thecritical and Mercia has a robust team that Mercia considers both the environmentaltype of people we recruit and the companies inenforces every element of this.impact of its own activities and those of itswhich we choose to invest. We have a diverse investment portfolio.team (40% of the Mercia team is female, We are diligent in both our internal governance nearly 30% making up the investment team). and that of our portfolio of investee Our interest in clean technology has led tocompanies where we take an active role in investments in businesses which address We are proud of our regional presence withensuring each business has good stewardship.this very topic. Investee companies which426 jobs being created in this financialexemplify this include Faradion, which isyear alone. Our core corporate values have provided developing a sodium-ion battery technologytransparency for investors and includes a resulting in cheaper, cleaner energy, andWe look to the future of the Group through thenon-financial dimension which focuses on Aceleron, which is developing a lithium batteryimplementation of our O2 team. This is run bylong-term growth for our investment practice. with a longer lifetime and turning waste batterya cohort of employees, thus ensuring that components into second-hand batteries. every voice across our organisation is heardOur pre-investment procedures encapsulate and able to drive improvements through theour standpoint around business ethics, We have undertaken our own digitalempowerment of teams. Our O2 team acts incorporating anti-bribery and corruption transformation to improve our efficiencies as a shadow board, challenging ideas andpolicies, in which all our employees are trained and lessen our travel, paper consumption anddriving innovation.and monitored. We are also insistent that our energy costs. Our Mercia Knowledge steersequity portfolio companies have similar this digital-first agenda to deliver continuouspolicies in place around equal opportunities, improvements and practices. health and safety, and a range of other regulatory matters.44 Mercia Asset Management PLC Annual Report and Accounts 2020'