News: BlackRock ups focus on ‘natural capital’ ahead of AGM season.
LONDON / BOSTON (Reuters) – BlackRock on Thursday cautioned companies that rely on nature or that have an impact on natural habitats to post a deforestation policy and biodiversity strategy at their annual meetings or to give the asset manager one To displace recoil.
The world’s largest wealth manager wants to position itself as a leader in sustainable finance and has tried last year to take a tougher stance on companies that don’t deal with environmental, social and governance issues.
The way companies handle “natural capital” such as water and forests is seen as an integral part of their response to climate change and a value driver for shareholders.
“All companies depend on natural capital in some way. As the world evolves into a low carbon economy, we ask companies to show how they can minimize their negative impact on the natural capital they refer to and, ideally, increase their stock of natural capital. Long term financial performance depends on “, BlackRock said in a report that outlined engagement priorities for 2021.
While BlackRock, which manages approximately $ 8.7 trillion in assets, has previously worked with companies on the matter, the report is the first time its position is set out in greater detail.
Going forward, BlackRock said companies should disclose how their business practices are compatible with the sustainable use of natural capital and consider their impact on local communities.
Individuals with a significant dependency on or impact on natural habitats should publish a policy and strategy to combat biodiversity without deforestation.
“We can … take action at companies by voting against the re-election of responsible board members when companies have not effectively managed, monitored or disclosed risks related to natural capital,” it said.
“We may also vote on relevant proposals from shareholders addressing material natural capital risks if we believe that a company can better manage such risks or report on its approach.”
Reporting by Simon Jessop and Ross Kerber, editing by Nick Zieminski
Original Source © Reuters