In 2016, the Desjardins SocieTerra Environment Fund will challenge 42 companies to improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.
The companies, which are part of the Desjardins SocieTerra Environment Fund, will be encouraged to disclose more of their environmental data. The Fund chooses companies for its investment portfolios based on strong environmental performance.
Using special databases, our partners are able to target opportunities to maximize the companies' disclosure. This year, we'll be talking to companies about the Fund's needs and how they can provide better environmental information.
Our partner, NEI Investments, will also be talking to 21 companies. The analysis of key ESG issues has helped identify opportunities for change.
The strategic dialogues will focus on 5 specific areas:
1. Energy transition
The transition towards energy modes that are less dependent on fossil fuels is still a topic of debate. NEI wants to continue using a systemic approach which, of course, involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions. NEI plans to keep pressuring companies about this and encouraging their constructive participation in climate change talks.
2. Human rights
NEI has encouraged extractive sector companies to respect one of the principles of the United Nations guidelines on human rights and to implement a free, prior and informed consent policy for First Nations as soon as exploration initiatives get underway.
3. From farm to fork
NEI will talk about social and environmental risks and issues related to food production and distribution.
4. Pharmaceutical companies
NEI will be approaching pharmaceutical companies to encourage greater transparency when disclosing clinical trial results and talk about improving access to medications in developing countries.
NEI will be speaking with a number of companies about a variety of governance-related issues, including diversity and the disclosure of ESG targets.
NEI will also be talking with other companies in the financial industry. For conflict of interest reasons, we will not be engaging in dialogue with companies in this sector. NEI is also willing to meet with other companies over the course of the year to discuss ESG issues. The results of these dialogues will be published at the end of the year.
Here a list of all the companies in the SocieTerra Portfolios, their activity sector and the topics of discussion.