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Briefing

ESG Credibility – Challenges & Solutions

Now more than ever, capital market participants are urged to contribute to an economic system that ensures 21st-century capital markets remain open, vibrant, and sustainable, and operate in the long-term interests of both shareholders and society. Working with HMI’s asset manager forum over the last few years, we have observed continued progress among asset managers in integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors across asset classes and increased focus on ESG as a value driver for long-term performance.

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A Review of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework

For over 70 years, the United Nations has been working to protect human rights. In an increasingly globalized world and with the growing influence of businesses, human rights abuses continue to be a significant issue. Thus, the United Nations have established approaches to prevent and address the human rights impacts of businesses.

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How are initiatives responding to COVID-19?

During the COVID-19 outbreak, company responses have been scrutinized with a strong focus on employee health and safety. In light of investors and other stakeholders placing more emphasis on the “S” in ESG, we explored whether initiatives with a purpose to improve the social issues of “Employee Health & Safety” and/or “Labor Practices” responded to the pandemic and what kind of content they provided. We analyzed the responses of initiatives included in the Business Leadership in Society Database.

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ESG in a Post COVID-19 World – Briefing Note #5

Could ESG scores have predicted the Wirecard scandal? Moral Money analyzed Wirecard’s ESG scores and found that the company received an average score by several data providers that missed the red flag. Consequently, some ESG ETFs held Wirecard stock. An outlier is DWS’s ESG fund, which saw the red flag in April and sold its stake in Wirecard.

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ESG in a Post COVID-19 World – Briefing Note #4

The ability of companies to react to external and internal pressures and the role of boards in relation to socioeconomic issues has been increasingly scrutinized. A recent survey of more than 300 directors conducted by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) reveals which governance challenges are likely to dominate directors’ attention. According to the results (see graph on the right), the biggest governance challenges will be: 1) Shaping a realistic post-crisis strategy, 2) Ensuring the ongoing health and safety of employees and 3) Getting up to speed on all the emerging risk dimensions of the crisis. In addition, the survey identifies the highest impact trends going forward, including 1) The changing way in which work gets done, 2) Reduced Global Demand, and 3) Acceleration of digital transformation.

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ESG in a Post COVID-19 World – Briefing Note #3

Forbes launched the Forbes Corporate Responders: a new ranking which assesses how well the 100 largest employers among U.S. public companies reacted to Covid-19 based on JUST Capital’s Covid-19 Corporate Response Tracker. The top 10 companies are: Verizon, Target, AT&T, Walmart, T-Mobile, Lowe’s Companies, Starbucks, Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, and the Kroger Co.

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