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RI Briefing, May 26: Carbon Disclosure Project, FRC, Stern

RI’s regular round-up of the most important responsible investment news

Nordea has joined the Carbon Disclosure Project, the initiative which provides firms’ climate change data to institutional investors. “We will use the CDP’s data to help drive investments towards a low carbon economy by inspiring our investee companies to measure and report their emissions and not least to improve our own products from a climate awareness perspective,” said Sasja Beslik, Nordea’s head of ESG analysis. The finance group is already a UN Principles for Responsible Investment signatory. Announcement

The UK’s Financial Reporting Council has named Sir John Sunderland, former president of business lobby group the Confederation of British Industry, as chairman of its Corporate Governance Committee. He takes over from Baroness Hogg. The committee monitors the operation of the Combined Code on Corporate Governance and reviews developments in UK corporate governance. Link

Sir Nicolas Stern has warned that pension funds must shift assets into low-carbon energy to drive long-term returns. He told delegates at the Reuters Global Energy Summit that investing long-term in “dirty technologies” is risking clients’ money. Stern, the author of an influential UK government report on global warming and a professor at the London School of Economics, is working with consulting firm Mercer on a project with Norway’s Global Pension Fund on global warming, capital markets and pension fund investors.Boston’s Unitarian Universalist Association will shift the recordkeeping for its 2,800 retirement accounts, worth $178m, to TIAACREF from Fidelity Investments over the latter’s “persistent refusal” to divest from Sudan-linked companies. “We couldn’t continue to watch passively as money we earned through religious service was directed to companies profiting from a genocidal regime,” said UUA President Rev. Peter Morales. The church group noted that TIAACREF has sold its $58m of Sudan-linked holdings. Release

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, the £147.91bn asset manager that’s part of Lloyds Banking Group, has advertised a vacancy for Head of Sustainability. It says “a credible Corporate Sustainability strategy is critical to our reputation and a key element of this role will be to influence senior stakeholders to change behaviours in support of the agreed strategy”. The role reports to the Director of Equities and is based in Edinburgh.

Hermes is among investors putting pressure on Société Générale to separate the roles of chairman and chief executive, held by Frédéric Oudéa. The UK asset manager has joined French shareholder activists to demand that he split his roles. “We are very concerned by the current trend in the French market to recombine the roles of chair and CEO,” Hermes’ Natacha Dimitrijevic told the Financial Times. Link to FT