ESG Archive

Sep 26, 2018
Why investors are targeting tobacco-free portfolios
The boardroom agendas of businesses across the globe are strikingly similar, despite each believing in their own distinct market proposition. Like much else, what’s on the agenda is subject to fads, the influence of others and external forces, sometimes unexpected and sometimes entirely predictable. Attempts to influence the agenda range from the overt (protestors with placards) to the public (a metric ton of coal delivered to the front door of a bank, for example...
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Sep 12, 2018
Opinion: Why workforce disclosure should be on the corporate agenda
While environmental risks and governance issues like boardroom excess and chairmanship have been on investors’ radars for years, it has taken a while for the trio of ESG factors to be rounded out. The ‘S’ has only recently come to greater prominence, as companies and investors identify social issues as factors to which they should be more alert – with headline issues including diversity, modern slavery and supply chain safety. Leading companies are already t...
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Sep 11, 2018
European companies dominate most-diverse rankings
US firms Gap and Bristol-Myers Squibb are the only non-European companies to make the top 10 in a list of the most diverse and inclusive companies in the world. European companies dominate Thomson Reuters’ Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Index, with Accenture, Novartis and Medtronic taking the top spots – although Medtronic’s operational headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Thomson Reuters says investors are increasingly looking at how companies perfo...
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Aug 22, 2018
Ceres demands better corporate sustainability reporting
In 2008, the world was plunged into a financial crisis because investors made bad decisions on financial risks they didn’t fully understand. Ten years later, a new crisis is brewing. But this time, the risks are sustainability issues such as climate change, water scarcity and human rights abuses. The evidence is clear that sustainability risks affect the corporate bottom line. A recent study by the Universal Ecological Fund found that by 2028, climate change will ...
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Aug 21, 2018
SSGA's Kumar warns companies on ESG progress
Rakhi Kumar, global head of asset stewardship and ESG with State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), has warned that her firm’s patience is running out with portfolio companies that aren’t heeding the asset manger’s warnings on topics such as board diversity, refreshment and climate change. ‘Given that we started talking about some of these issues in 2011, it’s really difficult to have patience with companies at this point,’ Kumar says in an interview with Co...
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Aug 21, 2018
IOSCO told to set bar on climate disclosure
Investors and finance experts have put pressure on the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) – the international body bringing together securities regulators – to prompt a global shift on climate risk reporting. A new report reveals that investors with a global portfolio suffer due to ‘regulatory divergence’ between countries in terms of climate risk disclosure and corporate governance practice. In particular, if implementation of the ...
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Aug 14, 2018
ESG investing more popular in Europe than US, survey finds
ESG investing is more popular in Europe than in the US, a new survey finds, even though 75 percent of US respondents saying they have incorporated ESG information in their investment decisions. In comparison, 84 percent of European respondents incorporated ESG information into their portfolio construction. Among the chief reasons cited by those that use ESG principles, 63 percent believe that using ESG information is material to investment performance. Compar...
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Aug 06, 2018
Micro-cap boards are smaller and less diverse, study finds
Micro-cap boards tend to be less diverse and smaller than boards at Russell 3000 companies, according to new research, which its authors say ‘contradicts a number of micro-cap misconceptions.’ The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi) and Board Governance Research studied the corporate governance practices at 160 micro-cap companies, with the goal of identifying what sets micro-cap companies apart from larger public companies. The aver...
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Aug 03, 2018
30 Percent Club members hit US board diversity target
The US chapter of The 30 Percent Club celebrated its four-year anniversary in June with bang - by announcing that female board representation across its members is now above 30 percent. The 30 Percent Club was established in the UK in 2010 as a way to have CEOs and board chairs target having 30 percent female board representation. There are now 11 chapters around the world. In the US, the group has 72 member organizations, many of which are public companies. ...
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Jul 25, 2018
Low-carbon science will drive future investor confidence, says CDP
The enormous challenge of the Paris Agreement – to keep global temperature rises below 2°C – is also creating enormous opportunities for the business community. Rather than avoid the tough climate science behind Paris, many leading companies are embracing it and using it to set ambitious ‘science-based’ targets for emissions reduction that unlock innovation and put them a step ahead of the competition.  The idea behind science-based targets is for firms to...
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