Thousands of British companies that are required by law to produce a statement on this issue have not done so. But some, such as fashion retailer Asos and hotel group IHG, are setting better examples.
The number of firms incorporating ESG metrics into leadership remuneration is rising amid shareholder pressure and as CEOs recognise the commercial and reputational benefits.
UN Sustainable Development Goal 15 figures low on investors’ agenda, while their exposure to at-risk forest companies remains high.
Regulations forcing British companies to disclose details of their gender pay gaps are having a positive impact, but some lobby groups feel they should go further.
A lack of technical guidance on Europe’s SFDR legislation has left asset managers to fill in the gaps, leading to confusion and serious risks of both greenwashing and market fragmentation.
The proliferation of ESG indices and the funds launched off the back of them is great business, but the ESG ratings underpinning them are under intense scrutiny.
Momentum is gathering behind President Joe Biden’s environmental push, which includes a proposal for corporate climate disclosure. It will add a burden for companies, but the environmental risk of inaction could be a lot higher.
Analysis by Capital Monitor has discovered a small handful of influential investors with significant stakes in companies that dominate the ocean economy. Sadly, improving life below water is not high on many investment agendas.
Companies need to take their heads out of the sand and deal directly with shareholders' concerns over ESG – unless they don't want to tap cheaper capital, of course.
With an estimated 25 million people in forced labour, hundreds of companies should be identifying human rights abuses every year, yet very few do. Shamefully, investors don't apply enough pressure, while existing regulations lack bite.