In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, is divestment the answer?
|Zachary Paris Client Relations Adviser|
The recent mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT and the subsequent public outcry has spurred government officials and political leaders into a major policy debate. The scope of the debate has expanded beyond the manufacturers and retailers of firearms and ammunition to include major equity holders and providers of capital. The direction and outcome of the debate poses significant reputational, regulatory and financial risks to companies and investors involved in the firearms industry. In an upcoming Analyst Insight, Sustainalytics explains the issue and explores the key players involved, the response of public and private investors, investment strategies based on differing levels of risk exposure and the tools that can be used to implement these strategies.
Corporate Action: Glencore and Xstrata merge
Alberto Serna Martin
|Alberto Serna Martin Associate Analyst|
On November 20, 2012 shareholders approved a merger between two of the biggest players in mining and commodities, Xstrata PLC and Glencore International PLC. The deal also pairs an ESG leader (Xstrata) with a performance laggard (Glencore), and raises important questions for responsible investors. In this article, associate analyst Alberto Martin considers the ESG profile of the new entity and outlines potential risks to investors. Read the full article.
UN forum on Business and Human Rights: Assessing the Ruggie Framework
|Ilse Griek Responsible Investment Associate|
In December 2012, Sustainalytics attended the first session of the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights. Responsible investment associate Ilse Griek reflects on the so-called "Ruggie Framework" 18 months later and looks at the road ahead for companies and their investors. Read the full article.
Dutch ruling opens door for foreign suits
Alberto Serna Martin & Dayna Linley-Jones
A Dutch court recently ordered Royal Dutch Shell to compensate a Nigerian farmer for property damage caused by a sabotaged well. This precedent-setting ruling exposes Dutch companies with foreign operations to new legal risks. Sustainalytics examines this particular case and the broader implications for responsible investors. Read the full article.
Upcoming Webinars -
Asian palm oil producers foray into Africa: Issues for investors and companies
As Asian palm oil producers race to meet growing global demands, they are looking to expand into frontier African markets. Establishing operations in countries like Liberia, Ivory Coast, or Gabon is fraught with potential environmental and social risks, including unfair land acquisitions ("land grabbing") and human rights violations. The webinars will examine the impact of these risks on investors and companies and highlight best practices and issues for engagement.
Space is limited, so register today!*
Investor perspective: March 12 - 9:00 EDT / 14:00 CET / 21:00 SGT
Corporate perspective: (March 13 21:00 EDT) / March 14 - 02:00 CET / 09:00 SGT
*Note: registrations made with personal email accounts (e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc.) will not be granted access to the webinar.
Regulating Conflict Minerals: Unpacking Section 1502 of Dodd-Frank
Sustainalytics explores the implications of the recent Securities and Exchange Commission ruling requiring companies to investigate and disclose their use of conflict minerals. Despite applying only to U.S.-listed companies, the impact of the new disclosure requirements will be felt by foreign companies in numerous sectors through their value chains. An appended table highlights the degree of preparedness across sectors and identifies industry leaders and best practices. Read the full report here
Shale Gas Development: Australian Edition
Download the webinar recording here.
In the third instalment of our Unconventional Oil and Gas Webinar Series the investment risks related to natural gas development in Australia - specifically coal seam and shale gas - are discussed. The panellists also offered recommendations to responsible investors wishing to encourage best practices among companies in the sector and mitigate related environmental and reputational risks.
Sustainalytics senior analyst Dayna Linley-Jones was joined by Pablo Berrutti, head of responsible investment Asia-Pacific at Colonial First State Asset Management and Nithya Iyer, manager of environmental and social responsibility at the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI).
Wilco van Heteren - Director, Research Products, Amsterdam
Wilco provides guidance and management to a growing analyst team. He will also play a role in further enhancing our research of financial institutions and sovereign funds.
Stephen Scofield - Associate Director, Institutional Relations, San Francisco
Stephen works closely with our regional and international teams, with primary responsibilities for business development, marketing, and client engagement.
Max Zehrt - Senior Manager, Advisory Services, Toronto
Max assists global clients in integrating Sustainalytics' research within their investment processes. He brings to this role an understanding of the dynamics involved in developing an RI program.
Sustainalytics also welcomes Melissa Brown as our newest board member. Melissa is a partner at Daobridge Capital and former executive director at the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (ASrIA). She brings to the board a deep understanding of ESG and responsible investment especially in Asia.
To learn more about Wilco, Stephen, Max and Melissa visit: www.sustainalytics.com/team.
In other news, Sustainalytics has closed its office in Madrid, Spain. Spanish clients will now be served out of the Paris and Amsterdam offices. Blanca Vega de Seoane, responsible investment associate, will join the team in Amsterdam and Francesco Mazzeo has transitioned to the institutional relations team in Paris.
Sustainalytics-Schoemaker Internship Award
In collaboration with the Dutch section of International Commission of Jurists on Human Rights (NJCM), Sustainalytics is launching the Sustainalytics-Schoemaker Internship Award in memory of Daan Schoemaker. The aim of the award is to foster expertise in the area of business and human rights, by providing a dedicated internship opportunity to a Master's-level student in the Netherlands with a stated interest in this field. The winner of the award will receive an internship position in one of Sustainalytics' offices, and an opportunity to conduct research and publish a paper on a business and human rights-related theme. The launch will be announced during the NJCM Seminar "Human Rights Violations as a Business Risk: From soft law to hard law," in Amsterdam on Thursday, February 14, 2013.
Sustainalytics in the Media
Recent Environmental Finance articles highlight the dangers of Arctic oil and gas exploration and examine the likelihood of BP fully recovering its status as an industry leader following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill (subscription required). Investments and Pensions Europe also examines the oil industry's claims to have cleaned up its act enough to be trusted in the Arctic.
Michael Jantzi, CEO, shared his views on why companies should care about CSR and sustainability on the Network for Business Sustainability blog.
Senior analyst Dayna Linley-Jones was also interviewed for an article in ToyoKeizai weekly. Read the full article (in Japanese).
Meet Sustainalytics in your Region
Doing Well and Doing Good 2013
22-23 February, 2013
GRI Training Course
7-8 March, 2013 - Vancouver
27-28 March, 2013 - Toronto
PRI Signatory Event
13 March, 2013
RI Asia 2013
19-20 March, 2013
26 March, 2013
To view more events, click here.
How would we recognize Capitalism 2.0 if we saw it?
Read the twitter chat summary here.
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Sustainalytics is a global leader in sustainability research and analysis for investors and financial institutions, specialized in analyzing environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria for companies, institutions and countries. We provide a global perspective, underpinned by 20 years of local experience and expertise in the responsible investment and traditional socially responsible investment markets. Sustainalytics is proud to be voted the 2010 Best ESG Research House of the Year by IPE/TBLI Group. The firm is headquartered in Amsterdam with local offices in Boston, Frankfurt, Paris, Singapore, Timisoara and Toronto; and with representatives in Bogota, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, London and San Francisco.