Border to Coast collaborates on latest Responsible Investment initiatives

As part of our objective to make a difference to investment outcomes for our LGPS Partner Funds, Border to Coast works collaboratively with other institutional investors to maximise our influence on behalf of our Partner Funds.  Recognising that we can be more effective by focusing on specific areas, particularly given the breadth of Responsible Investment issues, we have chosen to concentrate during 2018/9 on three main Environment, Societal and Governance areas: governance, transparency and disclosure.  In particular we believe that additional information and reporting from companies is essential for investors to understand the underlying risks within portfolios and investee companies and hence make good investment decisions that take into account long-term risks.

One way that investors can encourage companies to improve disclosure is by filing shareholder resolutions.  Ahead of the approaching proxy voting season we are seeing resolutions being filed at company AGMs to improve disclosure on climate risk and lobbying activity.  A resolution related to climate change has been filed at BP, which has been supported by the Company’s board.  We welcome the BP Board’s decision to support this resolution put forward by a group of leading investors.  This demonstrates the strength of investor engagement and shows the Company’s commitment to a business strategy in-line with the Paris Agreement.

Border to Coast has also joined in supporting a statement calling for a new independent mine safety system to address tailings dam failures.  This was issued on 31st January by investors with combined assets of more than £1 trillion.  The Statement is now supported by investors with over £5.5 trillion of assets under management.

The statement has been made following the tailings dam burst on 25th January at the Córrego do Feijão Mine in Brumadinho, Brazil.  A mine owned by the Brazilian listed mining company, Vale.  This is one of South America’s worst disasters with a tragic loss of life and enormous environmental impact.

Incidents such as this have a devastating impact on local communities and the environment, and the financial implications for companies in the long-term are substantial.  An independent classification system should drive a new level of accountability and transparency within the mining sector. We hope that working together with other investors will promote change.