Daily ESG Briefing: UK PLSA and Investor Forum publish stewardship guide for asset owners

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The UK’s Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association and the Investor Forum have collaborated to publish a guide to help pension schemes assess the effectiveness of their asset managers’ delivery of stewardship. Engaging the Engagers: A practical toolkit for schemes to achieve effective stewardship through their managers aims to enable pension schemes and other asset owners to meet their long-term obligations through their asset managers.

Covid-19 may lead to a spiralling plastic problem according to Schroders' Head of Engagement, Elly Irving. Irving explained that during the pandemic, demand for plastic has increased due to the need for protective equipment, plastic packaging for health and safety reasons, a surge in home deliveries, and lower oil prices making production cheaper. Irving said: “Promises of action were made before Covid-19 hit, however, now more than ever, companies must ramp up disclosure, ambition and action. There are fears the industry and governments are at risk of reversing progress which has been made. There is no time to be complacent.” The global investor also recently released its report, Forging a new future for problematic plastic: are companies prepared? which involved engaging with 100 companies to understand the risks and opportunities they face from the plastics issue.

Two thirds of assets managed by portfolio management companies in France are already subject to coal-exclusion strategies, according to the Paris Financial Centre. The network has been working with its members on introducing coal exit strategies. Alongside assets, all major French banks have a proactive policy in view to phasing out coal and all insurers possess a coal exclusion policy. The Centre includes representatives for the French Association of Financial Companies , French Asset Management Association, French Banking Federation, French Insurance Federation, the French association of private equity actors, Paris EUROPLACE and Finance for Tomorrow.

Cigarette giant Philip Morris International has launched its first Integrated Report to highlight its progress towards a “smoke-free” future. The PMI’s report explains the company’s targets, which include: having zero child labour in its supply chain and ensuring 100% of farmers make a living income by 2025, and having 100% of PMI’s portfolio of electronic smoke-free devices equipped with age-verification tech by 2023.  

Think tanks Carbon Tracker and 2 Degrees Investing Initiative have teamed up on a project to provide company and portfolio analysis through a “transition monitor platform”, which the pair say is used by “over 1,000 organisations around the world”. The collaboration will leverage Carbon Tracker’s expertise on Oil & Gas and 2DII’s Paris Agreement Capital Transition Assessment tool, known as PACTA.