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Engaging with companies affected by Covid-19

Engaging with companies affected by Covid-19

30-07-2021 | Active Ownership Report
The legacy of Covid-19 is the main focus of the Robeco Active Ownership team’s Q2 report, leading with its impact on labor.
  • Carola van Lamoen
    Carola
    van Lamoen
    Head of Sustainable Investing

Speed read

  • Launch of engagement theme targeting labor practices in three key sectors
  • Updates on digitalization in health care and improving practices in mining
  • Focus on climate during AGM season and campaign for good governance  

This quarter marks the launch of a three-year engagement project focused on labor practices in the retail and hospitality sectors, along with the wider gig economy, in the aftermath of the pandemic. In a Q&A, Laura Bosch answers questions about why the team started this engagement program, and what it aims to achieve.

The pandemic emphasized the relevance of digital innovation in health care, reinvigorating dialogues in an engagement theme that began in late 2019, just before Covid-19 made health the number one priority. Anouk in ‘t Veld explains the progress she has seen and the challenges that remain.

The crisis continued to leave a mark on the annual AGM season of shareholder meetings that took place in the second quarter, most of which were conducted virtually rather than in person. Michiel van Esch provides an update on the team’s ongoing engagement theme for good governance, including the topic of board remuneration during the pandemic.

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Improving standards in mining

One issue that precedes the coronavirus is the environmental impact of mining. Clean technologies are leading to booming demand for minerals – but this soaring demand can have significant adverse impacts on ecosystems and communities. Cristina Cedillo outlines how the mining sector is adapting practices to minimize these negative impacts during her engagement.

Voting remains an important tool in the Active Ownership toolbox. As the peak of the 2021 proxy season has drawn to a close, Robert Dykstra reflects on the increasing focus on climate action during shareholder meetings. While the pandemic has dominated the headlines, tackling global warming and decarbonization remains a high priority for investors.

Finally, Japan’s Corporate Governance Code has been revised in several key areas: raising standards for board independence, promoting diversity, and including sustainability into corporate decision making. Carolina Vergroesen highlights reactions to the changes and what it means for investors in Japan.

Shadow of uncertainty

“The Covid-19 pandemic lingers and continues to cast a long shadow of uncertainty on what the world will look like once it is over,” says Carola van Lamoen, Head of Sustainable Investing at Robeco in the introduction to the report. 

“The crisis has once again exposed the fact that certain groups of workers remain vulnerable and require strong labor rights to ensure their continued safety, security and well-being. Additionally, the pandemic underlined the importance of our continued engagement work on the digital innovation of health care.”

“And as the push for carbon neutrality is growing, so is the demand for precious minerals which are required for many renewable solutions. We are engaging with the mining industry to ensure it transitions to more responsible practices to ensure its operations have a limited environmental and social impact.”

重要事項

当資料は情報提供を目的として、Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V.が作成した英文資料、もしくはその英文資料をロベコ・ジャパン株式会社が翻訳したものです。資料中の個別の金融商品の売買の勧誘や推奨等を目的とするものではありません。記載された情報は十分信頼できるものであると考えておりますが、その正確性、完全性を保証するものではありません。意見や見通しはあくまで作成日における弊社の判断に基づくものであり、今後予告なしに変更されることがあります。運用状況、市場動向、意見等は、過去の一時点あるいは過去の一定期間についてのものであり、過去の実績は将来の運用成果を保証または示唆するものではありません。また、記載された投資方針・戦略等は全ての投資家の皆様に適合するとは限りません。当資料は法律、税務、会計面での助言の提供を意図するものではありません。

ご契約に際しては、必要に応じ専門家にご相談の上、最終的なご判断はお客様ご自身でなさるようお願い致します。

運用を行う資産の評価額は、組入有価証券等の価格、金融市場の相場や金利等の変動、及び組入有価証券の発行体の財務状況による信用力等の影響を受けて変動します。また、外貨建資産に投資する場合は為替変動の影響も受けます。運用によって生じた損益は、全て投資家の皆様に帰属します。したがって投資元本や一定の運用成果が保証されているものではなく、投資元本を上回る損失を被ることがあります。弊社が行う金融商品取引業に係る手数料または報酬は、締結される契約の種類や契約資産額により異なるため、当資料において記載せず別途ご提示させて頂く場合があります。具体的な手数料または報酬の金額・計算方法につきましては弊社担当者へお問合せください。

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商号等: ロベコ・ジャパン株式会社  金融商品取引業者 関東財務局長(金商)第2780号

加入協会: 一般社団法人 日本投資顧問業協会