Investors call for carbon transparency and reduction
Friday, October 26th, 2012 By Alex Blackburne
A group of high-profile investors has called for a number of FTSE 350-listed companies that have performed poorly in reducing carbon in the past, to implement better disclosure strategies.
Led by the CCLA, a client-owned fund manager that provides responsible investment funds to charities, churches and public sector bodies, the group is calling on utilities and the extractive industry to aim for inclusion in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI).
Amongst those on the receiving end of the calls are BP, Rio Tinto and National Grid.
Sixty-nine per cent of FTSE 350 companies submitted greenhouse gas emissions data to the CDP for its annual Climate Change Report earlier this month, but over a third of firms are still yet to integrate these figures into their yearly financial studies.
“There are several reasons why asset owners and mutuals like CCLA have come together to support companies in their efforts to improve their response to the anticipated low-carbon transition and ultimately reach the CPLI”, explained Helen Wildsmith, head of ethical and responsible investment at CCLA, in a piece for Responsible Investor.
“These range from systemic risk management and our collective fiduciary duty to engage in transformational change, through to amplifying long-term investor voices and involving ultimate beneficiaries.”
Issuing rallying cries along with the CCLA, the UK’s largest socially responsible investment fund manager, are a number of other mutuals and asset owners, including the Local Authority Fund Management Forum – worth £100 billion – and the most prominent members of the Church Investors Group, a coalition of over 30 investors that have over £12 billion in combined assets.
The group is aiming for transformational engagement within the 10 UK companies it’s targeting – with the hope of shifting their focus from short-term profit, to long-term gain.
Wildsmith added that the campaign is called Aiming for A, as they look to urge each firms to target the highest of five performance bands used in the CDP’s CPLI by autumn next year.
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