RI Briefing, April 13: Investors seek review of Anglo-American Alaska mine

RI’s regular round-up of responsible investing news

Nearly 30 investor groups representing over $170bn (€117bn) in assets are urging the US authorities to review the impact of Anglo American’s proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska – which produces roughly half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon. The group, led by Trillium Asset Management and Calvert Investments, hold more than 13m shares in the UK mining firm. “This proposed mine has potentially devastating consequences for the people and the ecosystem of Bristol Bay,” said Jonas Kron, vice president at Trillium. Link

The Coalition of Universities for Responsible Investment (CURI) is a new initiative to promote responsible investment at Canadian universities. “We are lagging far behind our American counterparts when it comes to incorporating environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) risks into investment strategies, “said Omar Dominguez, CURI chair and co-founder. In partnership with the Social Investment Organization, CURI will hold its first national symposium on June 21 in Victoria, BC. Link

The French Social Investment Forum (French SIF) and UNPRI are calling on European students and researchers to submit their work to the FIRPRI “Finance and Sustainability” European Research Award 2011. Three awards valued at €5,000.00 and three research grants valued at €3,000.00 will be given.
Eligible applicants are able to submit one application to be considered for both the FIR Award and the PRI-Mistra Academic Conference in Stockholm on September 26-28, 2011.
Students must have completed and presented their work before the application deadline of April 30, 2011. Email contact

Chief executives’ pay at the largest US companies “rebounded strongly” in 2010 due largely to improved company performance and a rising stock market, according to an analysis of proxies by consultant Towers Watson. It also found that most companies are receiving strong shareholder support for their say-on-pay proposals.Mandatum Life, the Finnish financial services group that is part of Sampo, has signed up to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Among other new signatories are Japan’s Secom Pension Fund and Tokio Marine Asset Management, Canada’s Fondaction CSN and Germany’s non-profit organisation Dreilinden and €49bn Bayerische Versorgungskammer. The PRI now has 878 signatories.

Deutsche Börse’s Xetra has launched an information portal for sustainable securities to accompany the launch of the STOXX Global ESG Leaders indices. It will cover all investment classes, from equities to ETFs, investment funds and certificates. It is “a further important step in our efforts to provide transparency on the capital markets, especially in the sustainable investment segment which is seeing increasing demand from private and institutional investors,” said Rainer Riess, Managing Director at Deutsche Börse AG.
Semiconductor firm Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has joined the Ceres Network. Members commit to improving their sustainability disclosure and performance by engaging with investors, environmental groups and other stakeholders. “Joining the Ceres network can help us deepen engagement with diverse stakeholders and help us get to the next stage of our sustainability journey,” said Allyson Peerman, AMD’s Vice President of Public Affairs. Link

The United Nations Global Compact has issued a new paper – Global Compact Governance: Why Context Matters – which elaborates on the governance of the initiative. The Global Compact’s current governance framework was adopted by the UN Secretary-General in August 2005.

Spanish exchange the Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME) has joined UN Global Compact, the international corporate social responsibility initiative. It said: “This decision is another step forward in the company’s Social and Corporate Responsibility policy.”