Daily ESG Briefing: Finnish investors help decide best remuneration policies for listed firms

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Directors Institute Finland is working with Varma and Nasdaq to select the best remuneration policies for listed companies in the country. The ‘jury’, which also includes representatives from consultancy Korn Ferry, PR agency Pohjoisranta BCW and a series of retail investors, has judged the policies on substance, relevance, accuracy, comprehensibility, appearance and how easy it was to access the information. “Based on our analysis, the quality of remuneration policies varied greatly in Finland,” DIF said. “In all groups, including the large cap, there were companies whose remuneration policies may not even meet the minimum requirements of the corporate governance code. On the other hand, remuneration policies were very good for 12% of listed companies.” Winners will be announced later this month. 

Mainstream financial services provider Apex Group has expanded its work on ESG with the launch of a “ratings and scoring platform” for private companies and investors. The platform offers ESG “health checks”; rating, reporting and benchmarking using the SDGs and other international standards; carbon footprinting; and assessments of asset managers against peers. The Bermuda-based company, which also has an “ESG ratings and advisory service”, said the private markets had so far been underserved in relation to ESG data, despite growing demand.

Indigenous people have urged European banks to stop funding the oil trade in the Amazon’s headwaters region, following the release of a new report. Stand.earth and Amazon Watch have revealed $10bn in previously undisclosed funding for oil in the region, and allege that ING, Credit Suisse, Natixis, BNP Paribas, UBS and Rabobank have been the largest backers of the shipment of Ecuadorian crude oil to US refineries over the last decade. The report is available here

The Forest Stewardship Council is to assess claims that FSC-certified palm oil producer Olam razed thousands of hectares of rainforest in Gabon, in contravention of sustainability criteria. 

Bolsa Institucional de Valores, Mexico’s second stock exchange, has joined the UN Sustainable Values Initiative. The initiative is made up of a network of 96 global stock exchanges that have committed and aligned themselves with the UN SDGs.

The UK’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum has urged the government to ban sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars within five years, in response to a consultation from the Department for Transport. The department suggests bringing in a ban in 2035, but the forum said it must be introduced earlier to help address climate change.