Daily ESG Briefing: New campaign calls on investors to vote against directors over climate

The latest developments in sustainable finance

A new campaign is calling for investors to vote against company directors failing to address climate change. Proxy Voting for 1.5ºC World says institutional investors should use their annual votes to hold electricity, oil and gas companies that have not set strong enough emissions targets accountable. The campaign was launched by Majority Action, a corporate governance nonprofit.

MUFG Investor Services is launching an ESG reporting service, which will show clients ESG data and an overall rating for their portfolio using AI from RepRisk. The asset manager, part of Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, says it is the first in a series of upcoming ESG measures. 

Only 20 of 83 plastic container and packaging companies have sustainable packaging policies, according to a study by Planet Tracker. The think tank says the industry is at an "inflection point" and needs to invest in newer sustainable plastic technologies to offset its environmental harm. It warns investors over the rising risk of stranded assets and calls on plastic companies to address “the mounting problem that is plastic pollution”.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has been accused of having too much exposure to fossil fuel investments by campaign group Shift Action for Pension Wealth & Planet Health, which says the Canadian pension giant needs to do more to address climate risk – adding that its exposure to fossil fuel-linked areas led to it underperforming its benchmark by 2.1% last year.

HSBC has joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials, making it the largest financial institution to join the scheme. The Partnership will help the bank measure and disclose the greenhouse gas emissions of its loans and investments. Over 100 other banks and investors across the world with nearly $28tn in assets are already signed up to the partnership.

The central banks of China, Brazil and France have topped a scorecard ranking G20 central banks on their approach to sustainability, but their actions are still “mediocre”, according to research and campaign group Positive Money. China received the highest score, ‘C’, reflecting that though its monetary and financial authorities have taken steps to steer lending towards greener activities, there is still a way to align finance with climate goals committed to by the government.