IR Magazine and its sister online publication Corporate Secretary have recently brought together various participants from the investment world at the ESG Integration Forum – Europe. The forum provided both IR and governance professionals with an insight into how Buy Side, Sell Sid and rating agencies integrate ESG into their work.
In a Buy Side survey, 32% responded that direct communication with companies was a very high priority in their ESG research. A further 38% of the investors surveyed see it as an important aspect and only 8% have no interest in these topics.
Gaia Mazzucchelli, ESG Research Analyst at Allianz Global Investors, gave insights into the ESG approach during the forum: “Allianz will then first choose a risk-based approach. This examines whether ESG issues can become an integral part of business operations. The best ESG performers are then identified in a further focus. This is followed by Imapct Investing, which aims to generate positive sustainable results. Currently, according to Mazuucchelli, Allianz invests 30 percent of its assets under management on the basis of ESG criteria. The target is 100%.
Mike Tyrerell, Auto at SRI-CONNECT, advised the attending IROs to know the market for sustainable investments as well as the investors well, to sharpen the message and to communicate proactively.
Finally, the forum participants chose which were the most important measures on their to-do list to improve their ESG practices:
- Contact the ESG and leadership teams of the top 20 shareholders and hold a meeting to discuss ESG risks.
- Analyze shareholders to understand their preferred ESG reporting frameworks and data sources
- Perform an analysis of ESG publications of peer group companies
- It should be analyzed which data the investors regularly request and which data their own company actually makes available. On this basis, it should be determined which data are not (cannot) be made available to investors on a regular basis.
- Companies should develop and articulate a sequence of key messages