The Governance of Autonomous Weapons: What Investors Should Know
The ethical implications of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), often referred to by their dramatic moniker ‘killer robots’, have long been a topic of interest. Until recently, debates about LAWS were relegated as hypothetical, with the technology assumed to be under development and out of reach. Such assumptions may be due for reevaluation, and while a firm conclusion is yet to be drawn, it is worthwhile presenting them to the ESG investment community.
Governance in Brief – June 30, 2022
Glencore subsidiary admits to bribery in UK trial Glencore Energy, a subsidiary of Glencore PLC, has pleaded guilty to all counts of bribery brought against it by UK authorities. The company admitted to paying bribes amounting to USD 28 million for access to unduly favourable oil deals in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea and South Sudan. Sentencing is expected at the beginning of November.
Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Spell Unforeseen ESG Risks for Insurers
The Russia-Ukraine conflict and the subsequent sanctions on Russian entities have led to material and wide-ranging impacts on diversified sectors and international firms. However, company disclosures and other sources suggest that the conflict’s primary impact on the global insurance industry is limited for two main reasons
Governance in Brief – May 25, 2022
Woodside shareholders approve BHP deal Woodside Petroleum’s 2022 AGM has approved the company’s merger with BHP Group’s petroleum business. The merged entity will change its name to Woodside Energy Group Ltd. and will be one of the world’s largest fossil fuel energy producers.
Governance in Brief – May 19, 2022
Moderna’s new CFO leaves after just one day in office Moderna has announced the departure of its newly appointed CFO Jorge Gomez, one day after his official instatement. His departure comes after his former employer, Dentsply Sirona, announced an internal probe into its recent quarterly financial reporting, and in particular the way it accounted for sales incentives.
Governance in Brief – May 12, 2022
TotalEnergies faces shareholder pressure to boost climate targets A group of TotalEnergies shareholders has requested that the firm tighten its greenhouse gas reduction targets to better align its climate strategy with the Paris Agreement. The proponents contend that the proposal would make Total the first oil and gas firm to align its 2030 targets with the agreement’s 1.5°C goal.
Governance in Brief – April 28, 2022
Meta investors to vote on metaverse risk assessment Meta’s May 25 AGM will consider a shareholder proposal concerning the company’s metaverse vision and the user risks stemming therefrom. The proposal calls for a third-party assessment of the platform’s potential psychological impact, the civil and human rights risks that it poses for its users, and the extent to which these risks are mitigatable or avoidable.
Governance in Brief – April 21, 2022
Shopify plans to approve Founder’s share Shopify will seek shareholder approval at the June 7 AGM for the creation of a new class of share – Founder’s share – for its chief executive and founder Tobi Lutke. The company’s current share structure comprises two classes of shares, Class A with one vote per share, and Class B with 10 votes per share. Class B shareholders currently control around 51% of the total voting power.
The Emergence of Water Risk: From Marginal to Systemic
The past two decades have seen a surge in interest in environmental issues, mainly climate change, global warming, and fossil fuels. Yet, another equally important dimension - water scarcity - has thus far remained largely unexamined and has not been given adequate importance in the economic development agendas of many countries.
Governance in Brief – April 7, 2022
ISSB launches consultation on first two sustainability standards The International Sustainability Standards Board (“ISSB”) has published the exposure drafts for its first two standards. The proposals set disclosure requirements for 1. general sustainability-related financial disclosure, and 2. specific climate-related disclosure on Scope 1-3. Based on TCFD recommendations and derived from SASB Standards, the standards comprise all relevant sustainability topics – governance, strategy, risk management – as well as metrics and targets.
ESG Implications of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine on the Chemicals Industry
The Russian invasion of Ukraine not only threatens global security, but it also raises some important ESG implications for several sectors, including the chemicals industry and particularly the agrochemical subindustry, as Russia exports over 10% of fertilizers globally.
Governance in Brief – March 31, 2022
Evergrande discloses USD 2.1 billion cash seizure China Evergrande Group has established an independent committee to investigate a USD 2 billion hole in the accounts of its primary operating subsidiary, Evergrande Property Services. While preparing its FY2021 accounts, the subsidiary discovered that a group of undisclosed banks had seized RMB 13.4 billion (USD 2.1 billion) of its deposits, approximately equivalent to its cash holdings as of June 2021, as security for third-party pledge guarantees.
An ESG Lens on Blockchain and Public Equities - Thematic Research Report
The investment risks and opportunities associated with blockchain go beyond the volatile cryptocurrency market, with applications ranging from enhanced payment platforms and contract execution to supply chain management and carbon tracking systems.
Governance in Brief – March 24, 2022
Shell directors face legal action over climate change Environmental law charity ClientEarth is preparing legal action against the directors of Shell over the company's climate transition plan. ClientEarth wishes, in its capacity as a shareholder, to hold the directors personally liable for having breached their legal duties by mismanaging climate risk.