Climate change has become the most important ESG issue for institutional investors, corporations, cities, and nations. And “Net Zero” is the new narrative to describe the ambition of being aligned with the Paris Agreement or 1.5-degree goal. All around the world, thousands of organizations are committing themselves to achieve the state of “Net Zero in 2050 or sooner”, where they achieve an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere.Read More
Should companies’ use of tax havens and aggressive tax planning be considered as a question of policy, law or corporate responsibility, also called CSR or ESG? It is one of the questions now highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis.Read More
On behalf of institutional investor clients, Engagement International has evaluated and engaged with the 100 listed companies that contribute the most to climate change since the Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015. Through in-person meetings and conference calls every six months over the past three years, we seek to encourage the companies to align their business with the well-below two-degree goal. This blog is the first of a climate series, in which we will discuss the premise and results of the engagement project “Top 100 Climate Change Contributors” (Top100CCC).Read More
Great to see the strong growth in impact investing related to the 17 Sustainability goals. However, a few red warning lights should be noticed, writes Engagement International CEO, Erik Alhøj, in a new article in Økonomisk Ugebrev (in Danish).
ESG Engagement is mostly used for responsible investment in listed equities. However, according to a new report from PRI, engagement can also be beneficial, when it comes to corporate bonds. Read more in the latest Økonomisk Ugebrev article (in Danish).
Read about the main results of the engagement Engagement International has conducted with the 100 listed companies that are contributing the most to climate change in a new article in Økonomisk Ugebrev (in Danish).
Companies with higher ESG ratings tend to show improved financial performance, according to a new report from MSCI ESG Research. Read about the main conclusions in a new Økonomisk Ugebrev article (in Danish).
In a new guideline, the Danish Government is encouraging investors to act as active and responsible owners, following the OECD’s Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors. Read the article in Økonomisk Ugebrev (in Danish).
Exclusion of more than a handful of companies due to ESG incidents has a negative impact on the risk-adjusted financial return, according to the analysis from MSCI ESG Research. Read the article about the main results in Økonomisk Ugebrev (in Danish).
In a new PRI report “The SDG Investment Case” lines up the five main reasons for linking investment with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Read about it in a new Danish article in Økonomisk Ugebrev.
96% of the 50 largest institutional investors in Denmark now have a set-up for responsible investment compared to 88% in 2015. Active ownership or engagement is an essential element for two-thirds of these investors, according to a new study from the Dansif, the association of responsible investors in Denmark.Read More
Read about the 25 largest climate sinners since 1988 and their (lack of) willingness to support the Paris Agreement, according to Engagement International’s dialogue with the companies. Article in Danish Økonomisk Ugebrev.
The business transition towards a low-carbon economy will continue despite the Trump-government withdrawal from the Paris Climate agreement. Read about the main consequences in Økonomisk Ugebrev.
During the latest weeks there has been a historical shareholder ‘rebellion’ against oil and gas giants due to their unclear strategies regarding climate change. Read more in an article in Økonomisk Ugebrev.
While the Danish and European authorities are pushing institutional investors to be more active and responsible owners of companies they are investing in by voting at the general meetings, among others. It is quite the opposite in the United States. Read more in the Økonomisk Ugebrev article.
While Danish institutional investors are preparing for new recommendations to become more active owners, active ownership in the US has entered a new phase. Here institutional investors are pushing each other to be more active and responsible owners through proxy voting. Read more in a new Økonomisk Ugebrev article.
Just before Easter, the European Union finally adopted the Shareholders’ Rights Directive that is encouraging institutional investors to behave more as active and responsible owners. After ten years of dispute, the European Council followed the EU Commission and Parliament and gave its green light for the comprehensive directive that applies to more than 8.000 listed companies. The member states have now up to two years to transpose the new provision into domestic law.Read More
Extremely high payments to CEOs are often explained by the “fact” that they get “peanuts” compared to the much higher financial value they are creating for shareholders. In Denmark, it has recently been the answer to the many critics of the IPO of Nets, which resulted in a gain of nearly USD 100 million for the CEO. And the answer was similar when it was known that America’s new foreign minister, Rex Tillerson, raised an annual compensation of USD 27 million as CEO of Exxon Mobil and an even greater amount when he said goodbye to the oil company. However, two independent studies based on the US data prove that the truth is rather the opposite.Read More
During the last months of 2016, Engagement International engaged on behalf of institutional investors with 28 of the 100 listed global companies that are contributing the most to climate change – now or potentially later, due to their fossil fuel reserves. About 40% of the companies have a clear commitment to the Paris Agreement and are explicit about their own responsibility to contribute to the two-degree-goal. However, in general, the highly exposed energy-, mining-, steel- and cement companies need to do much more. Two thirds have shown an increasing carbon emission intensity over the last five years. And a new set of very ambitious financial disclosure recommendations from the Financial Stability Board (FSB) will push not only these highly climate change exposed companies, but organisations in all industries to adopt a better management of their climate risks and opportunities.Read More
The amount of responsible investments in Europe and the US has grown significantly the past two years and strategies are getting still more sophisticated. It began more than 250 years ago with religiously inspired exclusions of companies that could be associated with alcohol, tobacco, weapons etc. This first generation approach is still the most dominating strategy according to new surveys from Eurosif, US SIF and PRI. However, in Europe engagement and voting have grown more than 30% the last two years.Read More
From 2017, Danish institutional investors are supposed to follow a new stewardship code holding seven recommendations on active ownership. The code, drafted by the Committee for Good Corporate Governance at the initiative of the Minister of Business and Growth, has been through a public hearing in September. After adjustments, the final version is planned to be published in December this year.Read More
There are many indications that Denmark now must relinquish its position as the country with the least corrupt public sector, according to Transparency International. Danish Police has arrested nearly 50 current and former public servants and accused them for being bribed with smartphones, computers and other electronic equipment from the IT vendor Atea. The case is the largest of its kind in Denmark and embarrassing, especially because the persons arrested work for the National Police, the Armed Forces, the Military Intelligence Services, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the City of Copenhagen.Read More