ESG round-up: Border to Coast votes against 71% of Say on Climate resolutions

The latest developments in sustainable finance: KLP excludes 12 Gulf state companies; GRI publishes draft mapping tool for ESRS.

Border to Coast voted against 71 percent of management Say on Climate resolutions in 2023, in line with its strengthened responsible investment voting guidelines. The UK Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) said it voted against the board chair at 50 companies, and opposed the re-election of the chair at 95 percent of oil and gas companies. Meanwhile, it supported 81 percent of environmental shareholder resolutions. The majority of the shareholder climate resolutions Border to Coast opposed in 2023 were deemed overly prescriptive.

KLP has announced the exclusion of 12 corporates listed in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait. The Norwegian pension fund said 11 companies in the building and construction, property and telecoms sectors were excluded due to “an unacceptable, sector-specific risk of contributing to human rights abuses”. Saudi Aramco’s exclusion was due to its dominant state ownership and contravention of KLP’s expectations over climate and energy transition plans. Aramco declined to comment. The total exclusion amount is $15 million. KLP said the decision follows a “logical trajectory” in recent years of human rights-based divestment of companies listed in Israel, Myanmar and Russia.

The Global Reporting Initiative has published a draft mapping tool between the GRI standards and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS). The tool aims to help GRI reporters preparing for the first application of the ESRS this year, by illustrating the corresponding ESRS and GRI data points. In 2024, the mapping tool will go through further updates to align with the final list of ESRS data points.

ISS Governance has announced its updated 2024 benchmark policy. The changes cover Canada’s policy on board diversity, Japan’s policies on election of directors and takeover defence plans, and APAC’s regional policy on equity compensation plans. They did not include the climate-related improvements called for by several investors during ISS’s consultation in November on its proposed updates. The updated policies will be applied for shareholder meetings taking place from 1 February.

Canada’s Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act came into force on Monday. The legislation will require in-scope corporations, trusts, partnerships and organisations to report what measures they have taken during their previous financial year to prevent and reduce the risk of forced child labour or child labour being used in their operations and supply chains. The law has also amended Canada’s customs tariff to impose a ban on the importation of goods mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part with child labour. The deadline for filing reports and making them public is 31 May.