ESG Archive

Jan 16, 2019
BlackRock urged to take action on climate change
Twelve investor and shareholder advocacy groups have called for BlackRock to improve its efforts on climate-related shareholder resolutions and engagements. The groups wrote to BlackRock in anticipation of CEO Larry Fink’s yearly letter to companies reminding them of their need to address global strategic challenges and deliver long-term value for shareholders and society. The groups’ own letter calls out the fund manager for what it calls its own ‘poor...
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Jan 09, 2019
Considering ESG materiality is part of fiduciary duty, says Cornerstone Capital CEO
ESG is on the minds of investors – both active and passive – and it’s incumbent on IR teams, corporate secretaries and other in-house counsel to work together to identify and report on material risks and opportunities, according to leading experts. More than 130 people gathered in New York last month for the inaugural ESG Integration Forum. This was the first time the IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary audiences had come together under one roof in ac...
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Nov 07, 2018
SASB launches new materiality reporting framework
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) today launched its 77 industry-specific reporting standards for companies to disclose material environmental risks. SASB had previously issued provisional reporting standards that were adopted by a selection of companies – such as GM, Merck, Nike and JetBlue – and praised by investors for their focus on industry-spec...
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Nov 06, 2018
Demand for off-season meetings ‘highest ever,’ says SSGA’s Kumar
When Rakhi Kumar joined State Street Global Advisers (SSGA) in 2011, the notion of off-season engagement didn’t exist. But by mid-October this year, Kumar – who serves as SSGA’s senior managing director and head of ESG investments and asset management – says the demand for meetings is ‘the highest we’ve ever received’. In the week Corporate Secretary sister publication IR Magazine caught up with Kumar, she had received 25 requests from differ...
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Oct 08, 2018
Ten steps to strengthen your ESG engagement plan
As ESG considerations continue to swell, institutional investors globally are increasingly building coalitions and engaging with their portfolio companies to improve transparency and enact change on a broad range of ESG and sustainability-related issues. ESG communications specialists (typically working within investor relations, corporate communications or sustainability teams) should act now to stay on top of the rapidly changing developments in this area and more...
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Sep 27, 2018
SEC’s Peirce criticizes California board-diversity bill
A member of the SEC has criticized efforts to boost the number of women on the boards of Californian companies via legislation, arguing that it is an example of a focus by governments on non-shareholders. ‘Stakeholder is certainly in the top 10 list of words that get bandied about Washington… [The term] is so popular precisely because it is so elastic,’ commissioner Hester Peirce says in a recent speech. ‘In the corporate context, however, that elas...
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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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