Corporates and their Pension Schemes: helping each other be more sustainableReport
Companies have spent considerable resources on understanding the sustainability agenda and trying to manage the threats and opportunities. It is now seen as an integrated part of doing business, with many companies building their brand around it. Many pension schemes equally recognise that, as long-term investors, they need to be conscious of the sustainability of their investments.
If sustainability is accepted as good business practice at the corporate level, surely the company’s pension scheme should incorporate the same belief and the same practical lessons into the management of its money? Some pension schemes are already doing this. But why not more?
On 9th February, Carnstone in partnership with the NAPF, the UN PRI and WHEB Asset Management, brought together industry experts to discuss what lessons pension schemes could learn from their corporate sponsor, and vice versa, in order to both achieve greater sustainability.
TCFD Briefing Note Article
The Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD) published recommendations for voluntary climate-related financial disclosures in 2017. These recommendations aim to make such disclosures consistent, comparable, reliable, clear, and efficient. Improved information would help investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters appropriately assess and price climate-related opportunities and risks.
The TCFD recommendations are gaining traction among investors as governments and companies grapple with the message of urgency from last year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s 1.5°C report. Investors are asking more questions about companies’ climate change governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets. This short briefing paper will help you understand what the TCFD recommendations are, their benefits, and how you can prepare to respond to questions from investors and other stakeholders.
We were asked by a major investment manager to assess the state of diversity and inclusion (D&I) among a group of 200 major companies, all listed in Asia and the Pacific.
There is no one way of doing D&I, especially in a region as culturally and economically diverse as this. As a result, there are no established benchmarks or frameworks that can be readily applied to assess performance. Noting this, we created our own template to understand and rank companies’ D&I performance.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, the Indian pharmaceutical company, came out top, closely followed by CSL (Australia) and Hang Seng Bank (Hong Kong). However, our findings indicate that the majority of companies in the research universe largely ignore – or at least show no signs of managing – D&I as a strategic business issue. This suggests that awareness and understanding of D&I as a driver of competitive advantage is limited to ‘an enlightened few’.
The report includes case studies and sets out a framework for companies interested in improving their D&I performance.
From 2013-2015, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the leading global network for responsible investors, coordinated a collaborative engagement with the aim of improving employee relations reporting and performance at 27 major retailers. Carnstone supported the process as the primary research partner, analysing in detail the extent to which employee relations are financially material and tracking the progress made during the engagement. The findings and insights have now been summarised in a guide, laying out why and how investors should engage with retailers on topics such as training, turnover rates and employee engagement. The research and subsequent engagement enjoyed the support of 24 investors with US$1.5 trillion of assets under management.