A fortnight before the UN Climate Summit in Paris, and as the OECD deliberates whether to cut subsidies to the coal sector, a global network of more than 270 institutional investors (representing assets worth over €20 trillion) is publishing a guide to drive closer engagement with mining companies around the world about their management of climate risk.
Launching Investor Expectations of Mining Companies – Drilling Deeper into Carbon Asset Risk, Stephanie Pfeifer, Chief Executive at the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change said today, “As momentum builds towards an international climate deal in Paris, the global investor community is setting out as clearly as possible the expectations it has for mining companies about action required to curb carbon asset risk. The guide has been developed to help investors step up their engagement with the mining sector as part of their ongoing efforts to better manage climate risk across their portfolios.”
Commenting further, Stephanie Maier, Head of Responsible Investment Strategy & Research at Aviva Investors, explains: “With mining companies featuring in many portfolios, investors need to know that these companies are prepared for the likely changing market dynamics arising from policies and actions to curb climate change and the risks they pose to profits.
“To protect their long term interests, investors want assurances that the capital allocation decisions made by the boards of major mining companies give clear consideration to climate change, and to the associated energy transition, in ways that will ensure the future sustainability and profitability of the entire sector.”
The guide is designed to support a constructive dialogue between investors and the mining companies they own about these issues. Bruce Duguid, Associate Director, Hermes EOS, and lead author of the guide added: “Climate change poses clear long-term risks to the current business models of many mining companies, as well as some opportunities. This guide is intended to develop market best practice for investor engagement with mining companies to ensure that decisions are made in the long term interests of shareholders and their beneficiaries”.
North American investors share that concern. Speaking about the guide, Andrew Logan, Director of the Carbon Asset Risk program at Ceres said, ”Going forward, asset owners and fund managers need to know how mining companies – and particularly the boards accountable for overseeing them – see the future of demand, how those views align with the carbon reductions required to deliver binding international agreements reached between governments around the world, and to what extent there may be stranded assets due to those commitments or a shift in demand.”
The guide warns that routine assumptions that underpin many of the demand and price projections used in the mining industry are now open to challenge due to the impact that transition to a low carbon economy (and associated policy changes) will have on patterns of demand, commodity prices, and use of technology.
“Investors recognise that the global economy is now pivoting around the need to limit global warming to two degrees. Diversified mining companies have already begun to shift away from carbon intensive thermal coal and look at the potential for new technologies to achieve net zero carbon operations. The publication of this guide is an important example of the market working to respond to climate change by driving thorough scenario testing, risk analysis and transparency from mining companies,” added Emma Herd, Chief Executive of IGCC Australia and New Zealand.
About the guide
Investor Expectations of Mining Companies – digging deeper into carbon asset risk was developed by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) with support from investor networks in North America (Ceres’ INCR), Australia (IGCC) and South East Asia (AIGCC). It is intended to be used in tandem with Institutional investors’ expectations of corporate climate risk management
The guide is the first in the series of Investor Expectations guides to also have CDP data points linked to the questions to support investor preparation to meetings with companies. Welcoming the guide James Hulse, Head of Investor Initiatives at CDP added:
“CDP is delighted to have worked closely with IIGCC to link the expectations set out in the mining sector guide to the questions in the annual information request we send companies on behalf of 822 investors representing US$95 trillion. This, and our wider analytical tools and reports, support investors working together globally under the Carbon Asset Risk initiative.”
Whilst primarily aimed at diversified mining companies, the guide can equally be applied to any single commodity and therefore be used to inform engagement with companies focused on particular commodity groups such as thermal coal, precious metals, copper or rare earth metals.
The guide sets out investor expectations in reference to six areas of concern:
– Governance – Clearly define board and management governance of climate change risks and implications of energy transition dynamics.
– Operational efficiency (and emissions) – Set long term targets to improve energy efficiency, reduce carbon intensity and curb greenhouse gas emissions from all parts of the business and measure progress
– Strategy implementation – Ensure business model is robust and resilient in the face of a range of energy demand scenarios through appropriate stress testing
– Preparedness for physical impact of climate change – Appraise risks arising from ongoing changes to climate or local weather and put in place plans to preserve productivity and asset values.
– Public policy: Engage with policy makers and other stakeholders in support of cost-effective measures to mitigate climate risks and support low carbon investments. Do not lobby against these positions. Render all lobbying activity / spending on climate and related energy and regulatory issues transparent.
– Transparency and disclosure. Disclose in annual reports and financial filings, the company’s view of and response to each question set out in the guide.
Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness
Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.
How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature
Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.
While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.
When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness. Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.
4 Practical Ways to Disconnect
If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:
1. Switch to a New Phone Plan
It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.
One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.
2. Get Rid of Social Media
Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).
If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.
3. Create Quiet Hours
If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.
4. Build Community
Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.
As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.
Untether Your Life
If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.
6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move
Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.
6 Tips for a Greener Move
Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.
1. Maximize Each Trip
When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.
If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.
2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep
The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.
3. Reuse Moving Boxes
Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.
4. Get Creative With Packing
Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.
5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies
Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.
6. Forward Your Mail ASAP
Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.
Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful
Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.
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