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
Last week the EU conference gathered together experts representing various fields, including policy-makers, investors, academia, trade unions and environmentalists, with the aim to reflect on how to foster more sustainable governance in line with the Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth. The key message emerging from the event points out that if we want sustainable finance, we need sustainable corporate governance.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).
European institutional investors can expect a stronger focus on fulfilling their fiduciary duties and there will be more demand of transparency in relation to exercising these duties as part of investment decisions. This direction is now clear from the EU Action Plan and the last week’s high-profile conference on how to move the strategy on sustainable finance going forward. While some of the key outcomes will be already seen in about a year.Read More
Early March, the governmental entity Danish Business Authority, launched its long-awaited publication Recommendations on Responsible Investments. It closely refers to the OECD’s Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors which is an integrated part of the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises. The Danish guidelines also refer to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), the Paris Accord on Climate Change and UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Read More
Active ownership and sustainable investing continue to flourish with growing number of institutional investors integrating ESG risks and opportunities into their investment practices and new sustainable investment products appearing across all asset classes. As the 2018 begins, we are looking at the key trends that are going to shape the industry moving forward.Read More
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).
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
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