Ethos Foundation and the members of the Ethos Engagement Pool International are founding signatories of the Climate Action 100+ initiative, a five-year, investor-led initiative supported by 225 investors across the globe. Climate Action 100+ will engage the world’s 100 largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to curb emissions across their value chains, strengthen climate-related financial disclosures, and improve the governance of climate-related risks that may affect companies.
The results of the climate compatibility test organised by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) in collaboration with the non-governmental organisation (NGO) 2° Investing Initiative were published on 23 October 2017. They show that pension funds are not yet aligned with the target of keeping global warming below 2° as set by the Paris Agreement on December 2015 and of which Switzerland is also a signatory. Ethos also submitted its funds to the test to check their compatibility. According to this assessment, the Ethos funds are compatible with the 2° scenario.
A group of 100 global investors amongst whom Ethos and the members of the Ethos Engagement Pool international called on the world’s largest banks for more commitment to fight global warming by financing the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Climate Change: Ethos and other global investors urge the G20 to maintain momentum on climate change action
Nearly 400 long-term institutional investors, including Ethos, have written to G20 heads of state urging governments to stand by their commitments to the Paris Agreement at their upcoming Summit in Hamburg 7-8 July 2017.
Ethos calls on investors to vote FOR item 21 on the agenda of the AGM of Royal Dutch Shell, to be held on May 23, 2017. The shareholder association ‘Follow this’ has filed a shareholder resolution asking the company to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets compatible with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius relative to the pre-industrial era. Shell’s board has advised its shareholders to vote against the resolution (Item 21 on the agenda).
Ethos and other investors maintain pressure for safe working conditions in Bangladesh’s textile industry
April 24 2017 marked the 4th anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, that killed over 1’100 garment workers and injured an additional 2’600. Against this backdrop, a coalition of 137 global institutional investors with over USD 4.3 trillion under management, amongst which Ethos and the 11 members of the Ethos Engagement Pool International, issued a statement highlighting the success of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (‘Accord’).
Ethos publishes an Engagement Paper addressed at listed companies which summarizes investor expectations regarding climate change risk management. Despite the urgency of the issue, currently less than half of the companies listed on SIX Swiss Exchange publish their greenhouse gas emissions.
In its response to the consultation of SIX Swiss Exchange on the amendment of the directive on information relating to corporate governance (DCG), Ethos asks that the publication of an annual sustainability report become mandatory for listed companies. The amendment of the DCG proposed in the consultation launched by SIX only requires that companies that wish to publish a sustainability report must do so in accordance with an internationally accepted standard. In Ethos’ view, this proposal is unsatisfactory because it leaves the issuers with the option to not publish a sustainability report at all.
The climate summit in Paris (COP21) is the occasion for several countries to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the next decades. To meet these goals, a collective effort of all economic actors is required. In this context, institutional investors play an important role as capital purveyors for companies. They are called to be actively involved by urging companies to take into account environmental risks in their activities, by investing in companies with low carbon intensity and by communicating the carbon footprint of their equity portfolios. Ethos contributes actively to reaching these goals.
Ethos launches a low carbon intensity world equities fund. Parallel to this, Ethos is joining the Montreal Carbon Pledge, a group of international investors that pledge to publish the carbon emissions of a part or of all their portfolios. On the eve of the Paris climate summit (COP 21) Ethos as a responsible investor contributes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.