Setting out our engagement agenda for the year ahead
Insights

Setting out our engagement agenda for the year ahead

As the year begins in earnest and the annual reporting season looms, we’ve been assessing our priorities for the coming months when it comes to engaging with our portfolio companies and on behalf of our reo® clients.

At Columbia Threadneedle Investments (EMEA), we are determined to continue to engage constructively with businesses with the aim of achieving positive results, particularly on issues of sustainability. We’ve been doing so for more than two decades.

The prevalence of extreme weather events, including forest fires and flash floods, over the past year – combined with the ongoing disruptions caused by the pandemic – have made us even more convinced of the need to act in the interests of the planet and its future.

Central focus

With this, and our continued belief in active ownership, in mind, we’ve now fine-tuned our approach for the year ahead. Our central focus in our engagement with companies will be the key environmental issues of combating climate change and protecting biodiversity.

We will also continue to engage in the area of executive pay, specifically around the incorporation of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk metrics, and we will impress on companies the importance of their human rights obligations.

Our central focus in our engagement with companies will be the key environmental issues of combating climate change and protecting biodiversity.

One of our main priorities this year will be to hold companies to account for the previous commitments they have made in areas such as net-zero pledges and strategies for decarbonising.

Climate change and biodiversity

Our engagement on climate change will focus on the planned phasing out of ‘unabated’ coal generation, whose emissions are not mitigated by carbon capture and storage technologies. This is due in the developed world by 2030, and by 2050 in developing markets, in line with the Paris Agreement. While our engagement will be in all sectors, we will concentrate on mining and utilities, identifying laggard countries as well as companies. We will take forward our ongoing work with the Climate Action 100+ coalition and on energy efficiency in the Real Estate sector.

On biodiversity, we will step up our engagement in the most critical sectors, including food and drinks, ‘extractives’ such as mining and quarrying, materials, transport and finance. We will be looking for strategies, targets and metrics for mitigating biodiversity risks.

Spotlight on chemicals

We will encourage chemical companies to make the sustainable transition to clean energy and lower environmental impact, including by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, reducing plastic waste and investing in recycling technologies. The materials and chemicals industries will also be a key focus for us because of their propensity to operate and manage supply chains in areas that are vulnerable to extreme weather events.

ESG in executive pay

Executive remuneration needs to be linked to success in climate-related strategies and initiatives, and we will push for this in every industry, including oil and gas, electric utilities, the automotive sector and financial institutions.

We expect executive incentives to be aligned with the interests of long-term shareholders. And we will advocate for the introduction of risk-related preconditions to bonus awards to ensure that climate-related payments are not made inappropriately when there are still concerns in other areas such as financial strength or credit quality.

Human rights and supply chains

We will engage with companies about implementing human rights protection, and checks, across their supply chains. We see this as part of good practice in supply chain management.

Our team will also work to ensure the quality of social audits in checking that suppliers comply with their human rights obligations. In particular, we will engage with companies in the clothing, retail and services sectors to ensure they do not fall short with their obligations on human rights and labour standards.

We will also continue our work on the rights of Indigenous peoples in the extractives and renewables sectors.

At Columbia Threadneedle Investments (EMEA), we have a 25-strong responsible investment team, which last year engaged with 940 companies in 49 separate geographies. In the same period, we achieved 388 ‘milestones’ or positive outcomes as a result of direct engagement over time.

27 January 2022
Alice Evans
Alice Evans
Responsible Investment Strategist
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Key topics
Related topics
Listen on Stitcher badge
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Key topics
Related topics

PDF

Setting out our engagement agenda for the year ahead

Risk warnings

The value of investments and any income derived from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the original amount invested.

The information, opinions, estimates or forecasts contained in this document were obtained from sources reasonably believed to be reliable and are subject to change at any time.

Views and opinions have been arrived at by Columbia Threadneedle Investments and should not be considered to be a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any companies that may be mentioned.

Related insights

8 April 2024

Ellen Brauers

Associate, Responsible Investment team

The climate-health nexus: risks and opportunities  

As global temperatures rise what will be the implications for the global workforce and healthcare systems?
Read time - 3 min
26 March 2024

Ebele Conroy

Investment Analyst, Global Research

Joe Horrocks-Taylor

Senior Associate, Analyst, Responsible Investment

Green machines: the future of transport

The transportation sector has a significant impact on global emissions, but technology innovations, policy changes and shifting behaviours can reduce this. How are the different modes progressing?
Read time - 5 min
20 March 2024

Sally Springer

Senior Thematic Research Analyst, Global Research

The skills factor: greening the workforce to deliver net zero

As we move towards net zero, the number of people with skills useful in transforming the economy is growing more slowly than the job vacancies requiring these skills. What might this mean to various sectors critical to the transition?
Read time - 2 min
12 April 2024

Market Monitor – 12 April 2024

Global stock markets have endured another challenging week as a result of signs that policymakers are struggling to keep inflation in check in the United States.
Read time - 3 min
10 April 2024

Roman Gaiser

Head of High Yield, EMEA

High yield bonds: focus on maturity over duration

The CT (Lux) European Short-term High Yield Bond strategy focuses on maturity over duration to manage risk. This means lower interest rate sensitivity and less volatility growth.
Read time - 3 min
9 April 2024

In Credit Weekly Snapshot – April 2024

Our fixed income team provide their weekly snapshot of market events.
Read time - 5 min
true
true

Risk warnings

The value of investments and any income derived from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the original amount invested.

The information, opinions, estimates or forecasts contained in this document were obtained from sources reasonably believed to be reliable and are subject to change at any time.

Views and opinions have been arrived at by Columbia Threadneedle Investments and should not be considered to be a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any companies that may be mentioned.

You may also like

Investment approach

Teamwork defines us and is fundamental to our investment approach, which is structured to facilitate the generation, assessment and implementation of good, strong investment ideas for our portfolios.

Funds and Prices

Columbia Threadneedle Investments has a comprehensive range of investment funds catering for a broad range of objectives.

Our Capabilities

We offer a broad range of actively managed investment strategies and solutions covering global, regional and domestic markets and asset classes.