Etica Funds is a founding member of Shareholders for Change (SfC). The network is composed by European institutional investors who, as shareholders, carry out engagement activities, i.e. dialogue with companies, in order to influence and solicit good practices and sustainable and responsible behavior in the medium to long term.
The SfC Engagement Report – 2021
The network has just published the Engagement Report 2021.
The 13 members of the network, with a total of over €30bn AUM, have jointly engaged 105 companies, one country and a sovereign wealth fund, most of them in Europe, filing resolutions and voting at annual general meetings (AGMs) or asking questions in conference calls and via mail.
«2021 was the second year in which it wasn’t possible to physically attend meetings with companies, due to the Covid-19 pandemic», said Aurélie Baudhuin, president of SfC and deputy general manager of Meeschaert AM, one of the founding members. «Nevertheless, we have been able to confirm our pioneering role as a network, experimenting new issues in the dialogue with companies, governments and asset managers. Particularly significant was the successful engagement with the government of Namibia, from which we received written assurance that it has decided to accede to the Biological Weapons Convention, as we had requested. Or the commitments of companies, following our engagement on forced labour risk in the information and communication technology sector».
«The work with SfC adds value to Etica’s dialogue with companies. In 2021, with the support of SfC’s member Friends Provident Foundation, we are committed to bringing Just Transition among the most prominent dialogue issues with Italian utilities» says Aldo Bonati, Corporate Engagement and Networks Manager in Etica Funds.
SfC engagement initiatives by issue
In 2021, more than one third (37%) of SfC’s engagement initiatives have been focussed on climate-related issues, in particular through “Say on Climate” and “Just Transition” strategies, achieving encouraging results with Nestlé, Holcim and a number of European utilities, such as SSE, Scottish Power, EDF, E-On or Centrica.
Other initiatives concerned the human rights issue and fiscal transparency.
For the first time, SfC’s engagement report measures the network’s achievements by estimating the degree to which the goals that were set have been reached. In most cases, corporations and institutions have been cooperative. A third of them already did or committed to do, at least partly, what we requested, indicating a precise timeline.
SfC engagement initiatives by country
Over 80% of the companies with which Shareholders for Change has carried out engagement activities are based in Europe, mainly in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.
SfC engagement initiatives by sector
The financial and banking sectors have the largest share. In second position Oil & Gas followed by Consumer goods.
SfC – Shareholders for Change’s 13 members:
- Alternative Bank Schweiz (ABS, Switzerland);
- Bank für Kirche und Caritas eG (BKC, Germany);
- Ecofi, Groupe Crédit Coopératif (France);
- Ethos Foundation (Switzerland);
- Ethius Invest (Switzerland);
- Etica Funds, Banca Etica Group (Italy);
- Fair-Finance Vorsorgekasse (Austria);
- Fondazione Finanza Etica (FFE, Italy);
- Forma Futura Invest (Switzerland);
- Friends Provident Foundation (UK);
- Fundación Finanzas Éticas (Spain);
- Meeschaert Asset Management (France);
- Sanso Investment Solutions (France).
Goal and tools
The network’s goal is to engage with companies, governments and asset managers to persuade them to improve their social, environmental and governance track record.
SfC focusses on three main issues:
- workers’ rights and human rights;
- fiscal practices and tax justice;
- CO2 emissions and climate change.
Further information about Shareholders for Change – SfC is available on the website.