An investor coalition focused on the Just Transition is targeting 10 companies for further engagement, Responsible Investor understands, after it last year put 100 companies on notice to take the steps needed to tackle the social impact of the low-carbon transition.
Last year, RI exclusively reported that Newton Investment Management, Ninety-One and World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) sent letters to 100 firms, including Exxon Mobil, Saudi Aramco, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and TotalEnergies, calling on them to urgently plan for a Just Transition.
The letter was the first action taken by the Collective Impact Coalition (CIC), which is facilitated by the WBA with the aim of tackling the systemic failure of oil and gas companies to identify, prepare for and mitigate the social impacts of their low-carbon strategies.
The 100 companies targeted were analysed in the WBA’s Just Transition Assessment, published in November 2021.
The group has now compiled a list of 10 oil and gas companies with which to kick off further engagement later this year, RI understands. The Alliance would not be drawn on the names of said companies, but confirmed that they are part of the WBA’s Oil and Gas benchmark.
The engagements will be based on a subset of WBA “Just Transition fundamentals”, which are six indicators in WBA’s Just Transition assessments.
Looking ahead, WBA’s next iteration of its benchmark comes out in June and this will be used to underpin the engagements, which will occur over Q3 and Q4 2023.
A spokesperson explained that a main factor in selecting the targets was whether there were some existing relationships with these companies, “either through WBA, CIC investor leads or interested Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) members”, and a deeper, targeted, collective Just Transition engagement was identified as highly likely to be beneficial.
The spokesperson also added that WBA wants to have some regional spread of companies, which was also factored into the selection process.
Alignment with CA100+
On CA100+, which recently took the Just Transition indicator of its Net Zero Company Benchmark out of its beta stage, the WBA said the two initiatives are aligned to ensure their respective efforts complement each other.
In particular, the WBA has been in discussion with Ceres, which is leading CA100+’s Just Transition working group.
The WBA is also hoping CA100+ investors will join its Just Transition push. A number of its targets are also on CA100+’s list.
The WBA is in the process of working on an “engagement roster” to assign investors – currently at 18 but with more expected – to the selected firms, with the aim of having lead or co-lead investors for each firm. Engagement groups will be capped at five to six investors for each company.