Toronto-based NEI Investments has released the list of companies with which it plans to discuss environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues in the upcoming year, the investment manager announced Thursday.
The 2019 Corporate Engagement Focus List is a “program of targeted, in-depth dialogues” on ESG themes.
“We are committed to helping our clients grow wealth while advancing the ESG performance of companies wherever we invest,” Fred Pinto, senior vice president and head of asset management, says in a statement. “In our view, this year’s program focuses on the three most pressing areas for strategic and tactical dialogue in terms of emerging risks and opportunities.”
These areas are: finding solutions for ocean plastic waste, responsible lending, and a responsibility to respect digital rights. With regards to lending, NEI is continuing to engage with Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank.
“The main objective of the Corporate Engagement Focus List is to reduce risk to the long-term investment value of companies from ESG challenges, while helping to build an economy that works for people and the environment,” Michelle de Cordova, director of corporate engagement and public policy, says in a statement.
This year, NEI says, it will also work with companies to advance progress on five of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals: good health and wellbeing, reduced inequalities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, and peace, justice and strong institutions.
Last year, NEI engaged 118 companies on ESG topics worldwide. Most (83%) were responsive, and 75% made progress towards improving ESG factors. This year’s list includes 30 companies, including the aforementioned Big 5 banks, Unilever, Pepsi, Microsoft and Apple.
The full list can be found here.