ESG ENGAGEMENTS

The ESG Engagements team works with signatories to identify key environmental, social and governance issues in the market, and to address them coordinates collaborative initiatives – including investor-company engagements – as well as publications, webinars, podcasts and events.

See all initiatives, including those coordinated by the PRI and those independently led by signatories, on the Collaboration Platform.

Currently active PRI-coordinated initiatives between investors and companies include:

Environmental

ENVIRONMENTAL

Investors are engaging with companies in the US, Canada and Australia whose lobbying on climate is inconsistent with investors’ interest in maximising long-term value. This includes instances where a company’s public position supports climate policy but trade associations the company belongs to are lobbying against it.

Resources: Investor expectations on corporate climate lobbying

Investors representing nearly US$6 trillion are engaging global, listed companies to have them better disclose and manage water risks in their agricultural supply chains. As agriculture is the largest user of water, investors are focusing on the food, retail, beverage and textile sectors, which are reliant on agricultural inputs from water-scarce regions.

Resources: Engagement on water risks in agricultural supply chains - investor guide

Investors are engaging with oil and gas companies to better understand companies’ ability to identify and manage fracking-related risks and to improve their practices and disclosure. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) can have significant impact on water resources, greenhouse gas emissions, and local communities, which has resulted in bans on the practice around the world.

Resources: Engagement on fracking - research on corporate disclosure and practice

Investors are pushing for sustainable production and sourcing of palm oil. Allegations of forest clearing and social injustice, along with the low uptake of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, pose reputational risks for palm oil producers and purchasers.

KEY CONTACTS:  Olivia Watson, Paul Chandler and Gemma James


Social

SOCIAL

Investors representing more than US$7 trillion are engaging mining and oil and gas companies to improve the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and related disclosure.

Resources: Human Rights and the extractive industry: Why, who and how to engage plus Research note

Investors are engaging global food and beverage buyers, producers and processors to improve labour practices in their supply chain and disclose more information. The engagement addresses aspects such as child labour, forced labour, freedom of association, wages, working conditions and health and safety.

Resources: From poor working conditions to forced labour - What’s hidden in your portfolio?

KEY CONTACTS:  Olivia Watson, and Alison Biscoe

Other social engagement resources:


Governance

GOVERNANCE

Investors spent two years engaging with companies across multiple sectors and regions to encourage more transparent anti-corruption strategies, policies and systems and better disclosure. All engaged companies are now being assessed against a framework of quantitative and qualitative indicators.

Resources: Guide on how to engage companies on anti-bribery and corruption, and quick reference.

Investors are encouraging companies to adopt a robust process for nominating directors to their boards, based on clearly disclosed policies, in order to ensure that boards are working most effectively to create and protect long-term value for shareholders.

Resources: Director nominations process - engagement framework, research on good practice in seven markets and research on disclosure and practice in US and France

Responding to increased signatory interest in corporate tax responsibility, investors from Europe, North America and Asia worked with the PRI to develop an engagement guidance document that, through background, key risks, engagement questions and good practice examples, supports investors in holding meaningful dialogue with companies on the issue.

Resources: Engagement on corporate tax responsibility - investor guide | Additional Resources are available here


MEET THE ESG ENGAGEMENTS TEAM:

Valeria Piani

Valeria Piani

Associate Director, ESG Engagements

See more on the PRI Executive team

Olivia Watson

Olivia Watson, Head of Environmental and social issues
Olivia joined the PRI in november 2009. She oversees collaborative initiatives on environmental and social themes.

Before joining the PRI, Olivia worked as a sustainability consultant advising multinational companies on sustainability strategy and stakeholder engagement, and as an analyst on ESG issues for a research firm, where she engaged with companies on climate change risks and opportunities.

She has an MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the London School of Economics and a BA in Biology from Bates College in the US.


Paul Chandler

Paul Chandler, Manager, Environmental issues
Paul joined the PRI in March 2014. He is responsible for engagements on climate change, and palm oil.

Prior to joining the PRI, Paul worked in ESG research and engagement for Regnan, an Australian specialist ESG provider working for and on behalf of institutional investors. Previous to this, Paul worked for Colonial First State Investments.

Paul holds a Master of Environment with a specialisation in climate change from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Business, majoring in finance, from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).


Gemma James

Gemma James, Manager, Environmental issues
Gemma joined the PRI in April 2015. She is responsible for engagements on water and hydraulic fracturing.

Gemma previously worked for the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) in London. She worked on water, biodiversity and climate change issues with mining companies to develop and share best practice.

Gemma holds an MA in Environment, Politics and Globalisation and a BA in Geography, both from King’s College London.


Athanasia Karananou

Athanasia Karananou, Senior Manager, Governance issues (on maternity leave)
Athanasia joined the PRI in October 2011. She is responsible for engagements on corporate governance issues.

Previously Athanasia worked as a corporate governance analyst at HSBC Global Asset Management, where she was responsible for engagement with portfolio companies on corporate governance issues, as well as proxy voting and governance analysis of FTSE All-Share companies. Prior to this Athanasia was a senior researcher at PIRC, where she led a research team focusing on corporate governance analysis of emerging markets and sub-index companies.

Athanasia has an MSc in European Policy and Management, with a focus on European Politics and Corporate Governance (Birkbeck, University of London) and a BA in History (University of Athens).


Olivia Mooney

Olivia Mooney, Manager, Governance issues
Olivia joined the PRI in August 2014. She is responsible for engagements on corporate governance issues.

Prior to this Olivia worked as a research analyst at EIRIS, focusing on companies in financial services, telecommunications and technology. Her previous work includes a collaborative project with the Istanbul Stock Exchange Sustainability index, company engagement, ESG methodology development and negative screening, among other research.

Olivia holds a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Birmingham and a bachelor's degree in Religion and Theology from the University of Manchester.


Alison Biscoe

Alison Biscoe, Project Manager, Collaboration Platform
Alison joined the PRI in January 2014. She manages the Collaboration Platform and supports engagements.

Prior to joining the PRI, Alison worked as an intern for UNESCO, and various other social business and microfinance NGOs in Paris, London and Toronto.

She holds a Master of Science in International Relations and Global Issues from the University of Nottingham, which included a year abroad attending the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.


Ben Pincombe

Ben Pincombe, Officer
Ben joined the PRI in June 2015. He supports engagements and the Collaboration Platform.

Prior to joining the PRI, Ben worked as an auditor for PwC in their Insurance and Investment Management department. He is also a qualified chartered accountant (ACA) with the ICAEW. Previous to this, Ben worked for Deutsche Bank as an equity derivatives product controller.

Ben holds a BA Hons in Economics with German from the University of Nottingham, which included a year abroad working and studying in Frankfurt.