We engage with companies and institutions to drive positive change. Where appropriate, we discuss issues about governance, environmental and social topics relevant to their specific business models and stakeholder groups. We explore their perspectives, policies, and business practices around our impact themes and minimum standards to understand the depth of the company’s commitments around sustainability.
We engage in direct conversations with companies to discuss relevant business topics and to use our influence to drive sustainable change. We use a variety of methods to connect with companies, including on-site visits, conference calls, letters, and email.
- Letter sent to Henkel to inquire about an alleged case of environmental pollution by one of its factories in India. The company provided adequate answers and the case could be closed as a minor concern.
- Call with Cisco, Intuit, NIKE, Red Hat and SAP to follow up on the season letter to further discuss the company’s approach to non-financial disclosure and integrated reporting <IR>.
- Dialogue with PayPal about the company’s strategy, business model, integrated reporting <IR>, and human rights policy. We discussed human rights in detail including the reasons as to why PayPal does not do business in certain countries or high-risk areas, particularly the Palestinian Territories. The company explained this is related to Know-Your-Client rules and compliance requirements, which cannot be fulfilled in all areas yet. The fund encouraged the company to develop a public statement on this topic.
- Call with Japan’s employment services company Persol to inquire about sustainability issues, including gender balance in management, board composition, and integrated reporting. Financial outlook and strategy were also discussed.
- Conducted meetings, on behalf of the fund, with BMW and Renault to discuss their progress on key ESG challenges for the automotive industry, such as reducing the environmental footprints of vehicle manufacturing and product end-use. Lobbying to prevent stricter environmental regulation is a topic of engagement with these companies.
We also jointly engage with other institutional investors. This method increases visibility of the topics being discussed and expands the overall power of our engagement activity.
- Call with Toyota Motor Corporation and two other investors from the investor group on child labour in the cobalt supply chain. Toyota reports to be working together with the Responsible Minerals Initiative and also with a joined initiative of the European Automotive industry that aims to work on supply chain risks. A follow-up call with Toyota to hear more details will take place early next year.
- Adidas, Inditex and Nike were informed about the results of the progress-review on their efforts to advance living wages in their supply chains. Adidas and Inditex are leading within the target group, Nike is a step behind. The investor cooperation on living wages was further extended, and on 27 September, the cooperation was publicly launched as ´Platform Living Wages Financials´, with now eight Dutch investors, with a combined EUR 725 billion in assets under management.
- Letter sent to Denso as part of the Investor Decarbonisation Initiative, led by Share Action. The letter calls upon Denso to set greenhouse gas reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
- Deutsche Telekom AG reported to the RE100, of which the fund is an investor signatory, that it is currently working on a post-2020 climate target and evaluating the ‘Science Based Targets’ (SBT) approach as guidance to use for setting emission reduction targets. New targets will include measures related to renewables, efficiency and electric mobility. The SBT approach helps companies to set credible emissions reduction targets based on the latest climate science insights and in line with international climate agreements.
- Meeting with ASML, as part of a Principles for Responsible investment (PRI) joint investor engagement project on tax, to discuss the company’s tax policy and improvements in its tax reporting.
Triodos’ public voice
Part of our responsibility as an impact investor is to publicly state our opinions and take stands on important sustainability related topics. We actively participate in key discussions around sustainable finance and investment across the public domain.
- Public response to the European Commission’s proposal for Sustainable Finance legislation.
- Active development and participation in public debate around the content of the Belgian Febelfin fund labeling scheme.
- We also participate in local and regional panel discussions to encourage the industry for increased positive impacts.