Daily ESG Briefing: Science-based Targets Initiative consults on private equity guidance

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The Science-based Targets Initiative has launched a consultation on draft guidance for the private equity sector on setting science-based targets. The draft includes guidance on setting Scope 3 targets, tracking and reporting on progress, and the communication of targets to stakeholders. The consultation closes on September the 15th, with the aim of launching the second draft at COP26.

Investec will report its financed emissions and reductions strategy, as well as Paris-aligned short, medium and long-term targets, after a resolution at its AGM on the 5th of August received 99.9% of the shareholder vote. The non-binding resolution, which was supported by Just Share, was the first in South Africa to explicitly require Paris-aligned targets. 

Market Forces has submitted a shareholder proposal to BHP, calling on the world’s largest miner to run down its fossil assets rather than divest them. It was reported in July that BHP was considering selling off its oil and gas assets, which together with coal make up around 12% of its revenue. The firm said that it would respond to the proposal before its AGMs in October and November.

The Gwich’in Steering Committee has released an ‘arctic scorecard’, ranking insurance companies based on their commitments to not insure oil and gas projects in the Arctic Refuge wildlife park and the Arctic more broadly. Six insurers including Generali, AXA, and Swiss, Munich and Hannover Re received the highest ‘gold’ ranking in the scorecard, with eight insurers including Liberty Mutual, SCOR and WR Berkley receiving the lowest rank. The Gwich’in people live in an area extending from northeast Alaska in the US to the northern Yukon and Northwest Territories in Canada.

Hancock Natural Resource Group, a Manulife Investment Management subsidiary, has announced the acquisition of almost 90,000 acres of Timberland in the US state of Maine. Manulife said that the investment, of an undisclosed size, was “impact-first”, with the primary use of the timberlands to store carbon, but said that it reserved the option to sell the carbon credits as offsets, or use carbon removal as ‘insets’ to meet its Net Zero commitments.