The United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has released a survey which shows that institutional investors with $2trn (€1.6trn) under management plan to engage companies on executive pay, climate change and supply chain labour standards.
They came out as the top three environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for future engagements, according to a survey of users of its Clearinghouse engagement platform.
Investor users were asked to identify the priority areas for future collaborative engagement over the next three years.
The top environmental issues identified were climate change (greenhouse gas reductions and energy efficiency), water, unconventional fuels (oil sands, hydraulic fracturing and deepwater drilling), biodiversity and ecosystem services and waste and pollution.
The leading social issues after supply chain were human rights, local communities/indigenous population, directemployee labour standards and health and safety.
Governance issues highlighted included how pay is linked to sustainability, bribery and corruption, board-related issues (including diversity), political contributions/lobbying and proxy voting confirmation.
Clearinghouse users “have signalled several areas they believe require greater attention by companies over the coming year” said PRI Executive Director James Gifford.
The Clearinghouse has now hosted almost 400 engagements since it was launched in 2006.
In other news, the European Commission is drafting a legislative proposal that would force listed companies to have at least 40% female non-executive directors by 2020, according to a Financial Times report. The FT, citing data that women occupy just under 14% of board positions in big European firms, said the plan is expected to be introduced by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding next month.