Governance in Brief – February 24, 2022
SEC continues work on climate risk disclosure rules U.S. SEC Chair Gary Gensler has responded to criticism from senators over the delayed publication of the agency’s mandatory climate risk disclosure draft, noting that “it’s essential [that the SEC] get this right”. In a letter sent to Gensler, Senator Elizabeth Warren called for the “release of the strongest requirements possible” amid reports that the delay stems from disagreements between SEC Commissioners over whether Scope 3 emissions should be included among disclosure requirements.
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.
Governance in Brief – February 17, 2022
NVIDIA’s planned acquisition of Arm collapses NVIDIA and Softbank have called off the planned merger between NVIDIA and Softbank’s semiconductor segment Arm Ltd., which had been expected to take place later this year, citing “significant regulatory challenges” from several national and regional agencies.
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.
Governance in Brief – February 10, 2022
FTC seeks to block Lockheed’s purchase of Aerojet Citing antitrust concerns, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has filed a suit seeking a preliminary injunction to block Lockheed Martin's USD 4.4 billion acquisition of rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings.
Financing the Future: An Interview on How Banks are Embarking on Their ESG Journeys
Financing the Future: Conversations in Sustainable Finance is a Q&A series where we sit down with featured ESG experts from Sustainalytics, sharing their insights on how businesses are using finance to meet the challenges of our transition to a sustainable future.
Maximum Impact: How Bond Impact Reporting Can Improve Corporate Decision Making
When companies measure and report the environmental and social impacts of their operations, they can demonstrate to investors large and small that their green and social bonds are reliable investments for maximum impact. Then investors can optimize their portfolios for impact as they do for risk and reward and companies can optimize their efforts to improve.
Measuring What Matters: Initiatives for Banks' Climate-Related Impact and Disclosure
To help financial institutions examining the climate impact of their portfolios, we’ve compiled a list of the initiatives and organizations offering guidance on the collection, measurement, and disclosure of climate-related financial data.
Governance in Brief – February 3, 2022
European Banking Authority releases ESG disclosure standards The European Banking Authority has published its “Implementing Technical Standards” (“ITS”), governing European banks’ Pillar 3 ESG risk disclosure. The framework, which is rooted in the EU Taxonomy and previous recommendations from the European Commission and the Financial Stability Board Task Force, is meant to provide a comprehensive basis for comparing banks’ incorporation of sustainability factors into their risk management, strategy, and governance. The framework will require European banks to disclose climate risks and mitigating actions, including information on two new ratios – the “green asset” ratio (“GAR”) and the “banking book taxonomy alignment” ratio (“BATR”). Other required metrics include exposure to fossil fuel and other carbon- and GHG-emitting activities, as well as alignment with 2050 net zero goals. Mandatory publication of climate risk exposure and corresponding mitigation measures will start in 2023, while disclosure of GAR and BATR will be required as of 2024.
What’s Happening in Sustainable Finance: Reflecting on COP26 Pledges, Sustainable Finance for Gender Equality, and More
In this episode we highlight some of the outcomes from COP26, a new report on using sustainable debt to further gender equality, as well as recent deals, developments, and research in the global sustainable finance market.
Governance in Brief – January 27, 2022
Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard for nearly USD 70 billion Microsoft has announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard in a USD 68.7 billion all-cash transaction. The deal, which is pending approval from regulators and Activision Blizzard shareholders, is expected to be completed in FY2023. The deal will turn Microsoft, which has recently acquired a string of increasingly sizeable video game producers, into the world’s third-largest gaming company by revenue.
3 Reasons to Skill Up and Scale Up ESG Stewardship in 2022
As our clients and the industry at large focus on proactively mitigating risk and capitalizing on this evolving landscape, stewardship will be a key lever for savvy investors—particularly those facing external pressure to divest. Here are the ESG themes we see influencing stewardship priorities this year.