governance in brief

Governance in Brief – August 19, 2021

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has approved Nasdaq’s proposal to boost race and gender diversity on U.S. corporate boards.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – August 12, 2021

Investors managing over USD 14 trillion of assets have released a set of expectations for companies through the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (“IIGCC”). These are set forth in a “position statement” calling for new corporate governance measures aimed at ensuring that companies can be held accountable for meeting their net zero emissions commitments.

ESG Risks of Aging Pipelines for U.S. Energy Infrastructure Investors

Pipelines play a critical role in the U.S energy infrastructure transporting natural gas, crude oil, natural gas liquids, petroleum, and petrochemical products. While these pipelines play a vital role in supporting the U.S economy, investors are increasingly scrutinizing pipeline operators' long-term economic profitability and sustainability practices. A closer look into the status of pipelines reveals a particular issue that investors need to consider.

(Possibly) a little less conversation and (definitely) a little more action, please

This blog originally appeared on GES International’s website and has been republished following Sustainaltyics’ acquisition of the company on 9 January 2019. See the press release for more information.

Investing in racial diversity

ESG Spotlight Report - Investing in racial diversity: North American equities

Access Sustainalytics' second ESG Spotlight Series report on race and ethnic diversity this year. Building on insights from the previous ESG Spotlight, the next series installment focuses on bridging the demographic data gap by compiling corporate disclosures of employee composition. Our research shows that companies with more diverse upper management tended to deliver greater financial returns than those with less diverse upper management over the last five years.

construction industry protocol

ESG Investors Consider Socioeconomic Impacts of COVID-19 in the Construction Industry

The construction industry can have a reputation for workforce insensitivity and is highly vulnerable to economic and social variabilities. The ESG Impacts of COVID-19 drive companies to adapt to significant challenges related to the demand for construction services. This construction sector research snapshot highlights relevant social issues that corporations face due to ripple effects from the pandemic using Sustainalytics’ ESG Risk Ratings and Controversies Research.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – August 05, 2021

Activision Blizzard Inc. faces an investor class action lawsuit alleging that it failed to disclose an investigation by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”), which ran for two years and culminated in the agency filing a separate civil suit against the company on July 20, 2021.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – July 29, 2021

The Japanese Financial Services Agency released an updated Corporate Governance Code which is focused, inter alia, on board independence, diversity, and sustainability.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – July 22, 2021

Prosus NV shareholders approved a voluntary share exchange offer for parent company Naspers. The deal seeks to decrease both companies’ significant NAV discount, particularly with regard to Prosus’ 28.9% stake in China’s Tencent.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – July 15, 2021

The OECD will review the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance aiming to adapt these “to the post-COVID-19 reality.” The organization noted that the pandemic aggravated structural weaknesses in the “corporate sector” and concluded that strengthening corporate governance should be a priority to promote economic recovery.

EU Taxonomy Developments and the EU’s Renewed Sustainable Finance Strategy

On July 6th, the European Commission published its Strategy for Financing the Transition to a Sustainable Economy, the successor of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan, which launched in 2018. The strategy focuses on transforming the financial system and financing transition plans, building on the 2018 Action Plan, which centered on developing the EU Taxonomy, putting in place disclosure regimes, and developing tools for the market to develop sustainable investment solutions and prevent greenwashing.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – July 8, 2021

Sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion’s annual general meeting concluded with the resolution to oust the remuneration committee chairman.

parliament hill ottawa canada

The Mutual Influence of Investors and Government

On issues from voting rights to climate change, the relationship between investors, companies, and governments has never been more dynamic. This has spurred a lively discussion about the impact and appropriate role of these actors in addressing systemic environmental and social issues. An increasingly cited view is that commitments made by businesses and investors are often superficial, and at best, can provide only incremental progress towards addressing the problems we face. Some go further to suggest that sustainable investing has done more harm than good, with the notion that these efforts have provided a false sense of progress and have delayed meaningful government action. This is a worthwhile debate, but my experience over the last eight years in the sustainable investing space has given me a very different perspective.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – July 1st, 2021

Toshiba’s annual general meeting concluded with the resolution to oust the board chairman and an audit committee member after an independent probe into potential vote manipulation.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – June 24, 2021

The Activision Blizzard non-binding say-on-pay resolution was approved during the latest annual general meeting with only a 54% majority.

ESG interconnected

Using Systems Thinking to Avoid ESG Investing Blind Spots

For investors looking to enhance ESG risk management and the long-term impact of sustainability efforts, a systemic approach can help identify interventions that will most effectively mitigate the risk of negative outcomes or divert the chain of events towards a more sustainable trajectory. Typically, this involves moving from single-issue or company-specific tactics to progressively integrate system-level considerations in ESG strategies. Targeting systemic change through active ownership is one way to acknowledge and start unravelling the dynamic web of global challenges.

EU Taxonomy Update

Sustainalytics Weighs in on EU Taxonomy’s State of Flux

On May 7th, the European Commission published draft rules on how corporates and financial institutions should report on their alignment with the EU Taxonomy. The draft rules are laid out in a very technical document and not an easy read. This might explain why certain changes with significant impact on timelines and scope of the EU Taxonomy Regulation have flown under the radar of media and investors. Some of the impacts even escaped the attention of financial market participants responding to the consultation on the rules.

climate litigation Netherlands

What Climate Litigation Means for the Oil & Gas Industry

As the global economy looks towards recovery after being impacted by the pandemic, the oil and gas industry faces a growing wave of shareholder activism and climate litigation due to a heightened focus on an accelerated transition as an indirect impact of the pandemic – painting an increasingly bleak picture for those within the industry.

governance in brief

Governance in Brief – June 17, 2021

Netflix ‘s shareholders expressed discontent over the streaming giant’s governance structure and unresponsiveness towards past shareholder proposals.

La pertinence des labels ISR dans le contexte de la SFDR et des mesures de l’AMF contre le greenwashing

Une marée de réglementations liées à l’ESG s’abat sur les investisseurs institutionnels. Avec l’introduction de SFDR et les obligations de publication mises en place par l’AMF, se pose la question d’une possible obsolescence des labels ISR dans la lutte contre le greenwashing. Un phénomène qui inquiète de plus en plus les investisseurs et les régulateurs au vue de la croissance constante du marché des fond ISR. Pendant de nombreuses années, l’industrie s’est auto-régulée en s’accordant sur une définition générale de l’investissement responsable et/ou en se tournant vers les opérateurs de labels pour créer des standards de marché.