human rights

Applying Business and Human Rights International Standards to Investor Due Diligence

Socially conscious ESG investors are interested in how to implement international business and human rights norms in their portfolios and understand the potential impacts of applying additional screening criteria within their strategy.

wireless users network outage

Telecom Network Outages, the ESG Risks of a Connected World

The telecom industry is exposed to several Material ESG Issues, including Data Privacy and Security, Business Ethics, Human Capital and Product Governance. Product Governance issues in the telecom industry include service quality, maintaining reliable, high-speed networks, and responding to customer billing concerns.

Utilities and Carbon Emissions

Impact of US Supreme Court’s EPA Ruling on US Utilities’ Carbon Exposure

The Clean Power Plan was created using a directive from the Clean Air Act that enabled the EPA to set emission limits for air pollutants based on the best available technology to reduce emissions. The EPA aimed to cap carbon emissions and curb greenhouse (GHG) emissions by changing the composition of the existing operational power generation assets by forcing the closure of coal plants through strict emission caps, resulting in a system-wide transition to renewable energy.

EV charging station

Cobalt ESG Risks Threaten Electric Vehicle Supply Chain

Transport electrification is at the forefront of the international climate transition agenda. Because of this, global demand for cobalt is projected to grow fourfold by 2030, which raises the question, are mineral supply chains robust enough to fuel a sustainable EV revolution?

oil and gas europe russia

How Europe’s Energy Crisis Impacts the Clean Energy Transition

Europe is facing two major crises—an energy crisis, worsened by Russian energy supply disruptions and the challenge of tackling climate change. Renewables have the potential to accelerate EU's energy independence and reduce emissions. Still, there is also an urgent need to secure an adequate energy supply, especially in the coming winter months when heating demand increases. In the short-term, many EU countries are turning to other fossil fuel producers in the Middle East OPEC+ and the US, as well as domestic coal production. For firms deciding which energy projects to invest in, they face a complex question: are energy supply disruptions advancing the EU’s transition to a lower-carbon economy and its energy independence or furthering the continent’s dependence on fossil fuels?

EU Flags

Sustainable Investment Calculations Under MiFID II and SFDR Remain Perplexing for ESG Investors

The various interpretations of the sustainable investment definition introduced by the SFDR and leveraged in MiFID II leave many market participants unsettled, having to decide between approaches that have different benefits and limitations in the short to medium term.

controversial weapons ESG

The Governance of Autonomous Weapons: What Investors Should Know

The ethical implications of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), often referred to by their dramatic moniker ‘killer robots’, have long been a topic of interest. Until recently, debates about LAWS were relegated as hypothetical, with the technology assumed to be under development and out of reach. Such assumptions may be due for reevaluation, and while a firm conclusion is yet to be drawn, it is worthwhile presenting them to the ESG investment community.

diverse patients waiting

Addressing ESG Risk in a Shifting Landscape for Clinical Trial Diversity

Low diversity in clinical trials increases the risk of unforeseen side effects, only discovered after the drug hits the market, exposing patients to harm and companies to litigation.

aviation in Ukraine ESG

ESG Implications of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine on the Aviation and Defense Sectors

The aviation industry is feeling the impact of rising fuel costs as an immediate repercussion of the conflict in Ukraine. In particular, the airline sector is still facing significant challenges in mounting a steady recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. On the other hand, the defense industry may be presented with opportunities in light of increased government spending in the aftermath of the invasion.

Rubles Russia ESG

Banks’ ESG Risks Related to the Russia-Ukraine Conflict on Investors’ Radars

Investor interest in the banking sector remains high as the impact of Russian sanctions unfolds. Based on Morningstar Sustainalytics’ research, total unmanaged risk has increased for both Russian and international banks with exposure to Russian clients. To what extent have sanctions affected banks’ total unmanaged risk?

blockchain supply chain

Leveraging Blockchain to Improve Supply Chain Management - A Case Study for Household and Personal Products Companies

With growing scrutiny from stakeholders—international regulators and regional governments, NGOs, the general public, investors, and financial institutions—companies accused of human rights violations and environmental damage in their supply chains face substantial risks.

ESG Benchmarking: Helping Asia Pacific companies excel their sustainability performance

Hear from a panel of ESG thought leaders, sharing their insights on how Sustainalytics ESG Benchmarking Solutions supported them understanding its ESG position among industry peers, identifying gaps and communicating sustainability accomplishments to key stakeholders.

deforestation biodiversity thematic engagement

Biodiversity loss and climate change call for a nature-positive economy – Stewardship may lead the way

Financial institutions funding the supply chains affected by biodiversity loss stand to lose right alongside farmers, producers and retailers—and so, in turn, do investors. ESG stewardship continues to be a powerful investor instrument to mitigate risks on a changing planet. With growing expectations of double materiality, it is an opportunity for investors to have a greater societal impact and support the transition towards a nature-positive economy.

Mass Timber in Construction - Big Buildings, Smaller Carbon Footprint

As an innovation in the industry, mass timber construction emits significantly less carbon than traditional concrete and metal structures, while modular construction ensures usability across many building types. This article reviews some of the concerns over structural strength, fire safety, regulatory compatibility, cost savings and the sustainability of increased forestry. It then examines current mass timber buildings and projects and looks at their viability as an alternative material for the future.

Ukraine Oil and Gas

Russia, ESG Risks in Energy, and Corporate Citizenship

As the unprecedented situation in Ukraine continues to unfold, Russia’s energy industry has remained remarkably untouched by the waves of sanctions currently being deployed against the country, despite being arguably its most important sector. While the European Union and its allies have been cautious to avoid disrupting energy flows (unlike how sanctions are currently disrupting the flow of capital), international oil companies are responding to the crisis in their own capacity.

Key Themes Shaping Proxy Voting in 2022

Key Themes Shaping Proxy Voting in 2022

As the volume and breadth of ESG risk exposure continue to rise, the stage is set for another momentous proxy season. The trending topics of last year will continue to steer the agenda—with the prospect of even more substantial support from shareholders in 2022.

cocoa farming

The Sustainability Conundrum of Living Income in Agriculture

Living Income is a crucial consideration among leading companies across some sectors and their supplier companies throughout the agricultural and food supply chain. Companies that manage ESG risk in their supply chains, making targeted investments to improve their resilience, are better positioned to build investor confidence.

EU Taxonomy in Limbo - Reporting Alignment of Article 8 and 9 Funds in 2022

For observers of the EU’s Sustainable Finance Strategy, 2022 kicked off with a crack and a bang as the European Commission went ahead with plans to include natural gas and nuclear-related activities as potentially sustainable under their ‘Green Taxonomy’. However, in midst of this furor, seemingly less attention has been paid to other components of the regulation that have quietly taken effect from the 1st of January 2022, presenting their own set of challenges.

oil and gas ESG risk

The ESG Risks of National Oil Companies Taking Over Fossil Fuel Production from International Oil Majors

As growing pressure to cut GHG emissions is causing Western oil majors to sell their high-carbon assets, it is expected that National Oil Companies (NOCs) will pick up some of the production. For investors holding an interest in or considering investing in NOCs or sovereign debt, it is worth assessing how fossil fuel production shifts will impact their portfolio’s alignment with climate ambitions and ESG values.

What Happens When Companies are Receptive to Investor Feedback on ESG?

When companies are receptive to investor feedback, there are clear real-world impacts and positive changes. Such engagement outcomes vary and are directly tied to the company and its company-specific exposure to material ESG issues.