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.
- Our annual ‘season letter’ about Integrated Reporting <IR>, led to a follow-up call with SMA Solar, who asked for our view on how to further improve its reporting. The company has not yet adopted the <IR> approach but is looking into the advantages of this approach. In the meantime, they will explore how to report more about the relation between its sustainability measures and its financial performance.
- 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.
- Engagement letter sent to Itron to inquire about its conflict minerals policy.
- Engagement letter sent to Bakkafrost to inquire about their animal welfare policies and labour standards. The company was selected for the fund investment after we received positive answers to our queries.
- Engagement letters sent to Becton Dickinson and Gerresheimer to confirm if their animal testing policies meet our minimum standards.
- Engagement letter sent to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to inquire about their involvement in wind power projects in the Western Sahara to confirm if such involvement meets our minimum standards on human rights.
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.
- A meeting took place with the CEO of Wessanen, together with a representative of Eumedion, to further discuss questions raised on the company’s Annual General Meeting including questions about labour rights in the supply chain, company strategy and competition and a tender for a new accountant.
- Dialogue, led by Robeco, with Itron, Power Integrations, Cree Inc., TSMC, and Xylem as part of the engagement project aiming at waste reduction and improvement of ESG disclosure. This call served to discuss more in detail what we expect from the company and to better understand the company’s position on the issues raised, as well as next steps it is willing to take. These discussions are to be continued through 2020.
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.