Environment Agency fund joins global push for environmental impact disclosure

James Phillips
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Environment Agency fund joins global push for environmental impact disclosure

The Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF) has joined a coalition of 88 investors to demand companies disclose more information on environmental impact.

The global bloc represents around $10trn (£7.95trn) in assets and is targeting over 700 companies, with $15.3trn market capitalisation, which are failing to report on certain environmental issues.

Alongside HSBC Global Asset Management, Amundi, and Washington State Investment Board, the EAPF is urging high-impact companies to improve transparency in areas including climate change, water security and deforestation.

The 707 companies identified by the Carbon Disclosure Project's (CDP) 2019 Non-Disclosure Campaign have been selected because of their impact and existing opacity, and include Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, Amazon and Volvo.

Across all the companies targeted for climate change disclosure, 27% are in the services industry, 18% in manufacturing, and 12% in fossil fuels; on the issue of water security, manufacturing firms represent 27% of all companies contacted, followed by retail on 23% and fossil fuels on 11%.

CDP global director of investor initiatives Emily Kreps said the ESG risks cannot be managed with proper information.

"While some companies may say they already disclose in their own sustainability reports, that is not enough on its own," she said. "Investors and the wider market need transparency in the form of consistent, comparable and relevant metrics that are easy to access, compare and benchmark.

"And as for companies that say their investors do not care about these issues, this campaign demonstrates that is simply not the case."

Separately, Hermes Investment Management has signed two international accords designed to improve the availability of carbon pricing regimes by governments, and improve transparency in reporting climate risk in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

Chief executive Saker Nusseibeh signed the pledges alongside 32 major oil companies, asset managers and asset owners at a conference at the Vatican last week.

Nusseibeh said: "The environmental crisis that we currently face with regards to global warming demands urgent action."

He added: "The commitment from the CEOs of the major oil companies, the CEOs of some of the largest asset managers and from some of the largest asset owners in the world, reflects the importance of this topic and the commitment of all present to tackle it."

Last week, the UK government announced plans to reduce net emissions to zero by 2050, but investment firms said more incentives were needed to encourage institutional investors to allocate to climate change-conscious assets.

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