ESG news

Microsoft’s board loses “S pillar” vote on shareholder proposal

ECO comment: Microsoft’s board lost a vote on a shareholder proposal for the first time since at least 2000, on a matter relating to “S” pillar practice in ESG. The shareholder proposal called for improved transparency in sexual assault reports and policies within the company. ECO Advisors is pleased to be counted amongst the shareholders who supported the proposal.

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CDP Science-based Targets Campaign 2021 Announcement

We’re proud to support the CDP Science-Based Targets Campaign 2021 – engaging 1,600+ companies, representing 36% of the MSCI World, to set SBTs. 96% of companies said that investor pressure influenced their decision to join the Science Targets.

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Curbing methane emissions is essential to the race against 1.5°C

ECO comment: Methane is the newest greenhouse gas that has attracted attention for its powerful heating abilities–80 times more than carbon dioxide. But methane emissions last for a short period of time in the atmosphere, making CH₄ emission reduction one of the most effective ways to fight climate change. Read more about our take on methane in our upcoming Q3 2021 newsletter.

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Proxy season sees a record-breaking fall in shareholder support for executive pay

ECO comment: The 2021 proxy season saw a record-breaking fall in shareholder support for executive pay. 32 S&P 500 companies had more than 40% of shareholders oppose executive pay, a fourfold increase since 2017. ECO Advisors has an in-house executive pay voting policy that guides our decisions. The policy, as well as our other voting policies, is available in the Investor Portal.

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IEA Report says that in order to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century, 90% of electricity in 2050 needs to come from renewable sources

ECO comment: The IEA says achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 will require “nothing short of a complete transformation of the global energy system”. This has significant implications, including risks of stranded assets and regulation, and opportunities for investors to get ahead of the curve before old, polluting appliances become more expensive to own and operate.

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Companies Call on Biden Administration to Act on Climate Change

ECO comment: Major companies from a cross section of the U.S. economy have signed onto a statement urging the Biden administration to enact ambitious climate policies. This statement demonstrates the corporate driving force behind increased ESG focus and regulations, which are expected to expand under the Biden administration.

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Post-Coronavirus sustainability-focused investment is the new normal

ECO comment: the author of this recent article in Forbes provides a concise summary of why ESG factors are likely to become more material for investors. “Going forward, there is the higher probability that markets and investors will focus more on the social costs, the environmental costs, human costs of economic activity.”

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EU Green Taxonomy agreement reached

ECO comment: An agreement has been reached regarding the EU Taxonomy on green investment. The taxonomy is intended to provide standardisation and prevent greenwashing in the industry. It marks an important milestone for the advancement of the Environment pillar.

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Exxon faces climate change fraud trial

ECO comment: Climate change may be the defining risk for oil and gas companies in coming decades. Exxon Mobil Corp. is now on trial for using two sets of books to hide the true cost of climate change regulations from investors. Do you consider ESG risks in your investment decisions?

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Climate change

ECO Comment: Confirmation that climate change is happening more rapidly than previously predicted and that the necessary adjustments and solutions are already crucial factors for investors to consider.

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ECO Comment: Another corporate example indicating that neglect of environment and stakeholder considerations can potentially result in financial liabilities and poor performance for shareholders

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Nissan’s Governance Scandal

ECO Comment: The recent scandal provides an excellent case study on how ESG evaluation can help to raise awareness of a heightened corporate risk profile.

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ESG Investing

ECO Comment: This recent article in The highlights increasing interest in ESG amongst investors in Asia. Our view is that ESG investing will rapidly spread from its traditional base in Northern Europe to be an important driver for equity returns on a global basis.

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