ESG Archive

May 27, 2020
US mid-caps warm to stakeholder value
US mid-cap companies are focusing on more than just shareholder returns by increasing the integration of ESG factors into their business performance planning, according to new research. In a survey of 400 middle-market executives, 74 percent say formulating plans to develop and appropriately compensate employees is important, followed by 70 percent who emphasize the importance of providing value to customers. Delivering results to investors rounds out the top three ...
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May 18, 2020
ESG reporting in a crisis: A luxury firms cannot afford?
When Saudi Aramco announced its Q1 earnings recently, media attention was firmly on the announced lower profits and the maintenance of the oil giant’s large dividend. What was less remarked upon was the fact that around 25 percent of the Q1 earnings press release concerns itself not with financials or commentary on financial performance; no, the final quarter of the release focuses on a ‘Covid-19 Update’. And this update consists of the following: how we are p...
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Apr 23, 2020
Pandemic highlights ESG importance, S&P Global Ratings says
The Covid-19 outbreak is highlighting the importance of ESG issues for companies, and those that take such issues seriously stand a better chance of coping with such unprecedented disruption, according to a new report. S&P Global Ratings this week released the first paper in a two-part series assessing the ESG implications of Covid-19, using the firm’s ESG evaluation framework. Risk oversight is a key board responsibility, and the report focuses on the importa...
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Apr 22, 2020
Physical risk said to drive investors’ climate interest
The physical risks stemming from climate change are the reason financial markets are increasingly focused on global warming, according to Julie Gorte, senior vice president for sustainable investing at Impax Asset Management and Pax World Funds. Speaking on episode 114 of The Ticker, the regular podcast of Corporate Secretary sister p...
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Apr 22, 2020
Covid-19 not derailing board diversity for RBC GAM
RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM) will continue to press companies on board diversity amid the Covid-19 pandemic. RBC GAM this year updated its guidelines to state that it would vote against certain directors if a board does not have a minimum of 25 percent female members. The firm is a signatory to the 30% Club Canada investors group, which aims to have women fill 30 percent of positions on the boards and the executive management teams of all S&P/TSX Compos...
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Apr 16, 2020
SEC and Delaware guide on proxies and AGM notices
As part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the SEC has provided guidance on updating the time, date or location of a shareholder meeting and has eliminated the federal securities law requirement that such a change require a full mailing of notice to stockholders. On April 6, meanwhile, Delaware governor John Carney issued an order clarifying that new mail or email notice would not be necessary. Section 4 of the order states that notice requirements will be sa...
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Apr 03, 2020
ExxonMobil blocks climate change proposals
ExxonMobil has been able to exclude most – but not all – of the climate change-related shareholder proposals filed ahead of its AGM this year. The energy company has secured no-action relief from the SEC allowing it to avoid having investors vote on six climate change-linked proposals. Only one such request has been denied by the agency. In three cases, the SEC filed a letter explaining its decision. This is the first proxy season under a ...
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Apr 02, 2020
ESG and engagement continue amid Covid-19, says Nuveen’s Reali
The Covid-19 pandemic has yet to have much of an impact on shareholder engagement or Nuveen’s pursuit of ESG issues, according to Peter Reali, senior director of responsible investing at Nuveen. The coronavirus outbreak has caused unprecedented disruption to daily and economic life globally in the build-up to the peak of this year’s proxy season, including forcing millions of people to work from home and practice social distancing. But Reali notes that at...
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Mar 24, 2020
UK’s new Stewardship Code could place more demands on debt IR
The new UK Stewardship Code 2020, which came into force at the start of this year, calls for engagement between companies and investors to take place across asset classes – including fixed income. As a result, debt IR, which today is mainly a concern for the financial sector, could grow in importance for all companies. ‘Most issuers don’t have any debt investor relation...
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