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
The investor pressure on oil and gas companies to address climate change as seen in the latest proxy voting season has mounted like never before. In May, BP shareholders, representing over 99% of the votes, passed a resolution asking the company to align its business strategy and investments with the Paris Agreement. When a similar resolution was blocked by Exxon, who had asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to reject it, investors urged a vote to split the chief executive officer and board chairman roles as protest.Read More
With their widespread use across multiple sectors, from construction and infrastructure to energy and transportation, cement and steel are central to modern economy. They are also inherently energy and carbon-intensive. Taken together, those two sectors account for up to 15% of global CO2 emissions, and as the world’s population grows, emissions are only projected to increase.Read More
Still more institutional investors are divesting from coal companies to protect their investments against stranded assets. It is understandable, because most coal companies are not aligned with the well below two-degree goal. However, it raises a dilemma, because the reduced investor owners’ pressure on the coal majors due to divestment can make it more difficult to reach the Paris Agreement. This third blog in our climate series presents the results of Engagement International’s engagement with coal companies over the past three years, which can further inform investors’ strategies to the controversial industry.Read More
Electric utilities are among the biggest climate change contributors. Globally the sector is responsible for 25% of CO2 emissions, mainly due to its significant reliance on fossil fuels for energy generation.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
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
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).
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
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