Late last week, BlackRock and Ceres released a detailed investor guide (the “Guide”) outlining various strategies and questions for engaging effectively with companies on environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) risks.
The Guide includes short articles from nearly 30 different institutional investors (including BlackRock, CalPERS, CalSTRS, T. Rowe Price and Breckinridge Capital Advisors) describing their priorities and strategies they use to engage with companies across different asset classes, both internationally and domestically, on ESG matters.
The Guide also includes sector-by-sector questions for investors and Wall Street analysts to ask, including during stock calls, with companies in the following nine industries: (i) Oil, Gas and Mining, (ii) Banking and Finance, (iii) Insurance, (iv) Information Technology, (v) Electric Utilities, (vi) Apparel and Retail, (vii) Transportation, (viii) Food and Beverage and (ix) Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals. The broad-ranging questions cover topics such as climate change, natural resource constraint management and human capital development. Companies in these industries may wish to consider these questions and to adopt and implement processes to collect and prepare the requisite information to answer them.
The Guide comes on the heels of BlackRock’s launch of BlackRock Impact in February 2015, an investment platform for investors interested in addressing societal issues, and its issuance of U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines in March 2015 (see our March 2015 summary for more information). BlackRock has collaborated with Ceres in the past, joining its Investor Network on Climate Risk in 2008 and acting as a signatory to several Ceres-drafted letters and publications.