Impax blog

Reporting on our engagement activities

23 May 2019 - by Lisa Beauvilain

This month we are pleased to share our latest Engagement Report.

The companies in Impax’s listed equity portfolios have been identified as offering solutions to sustainability challenges, with financial returns generated by durable business models which we believe will benefit from the transition to a more sustainable economy. This is an inherently positive group of companies to work with; as active managers focused on a distinctive investment philosophy we are not needing to work as activists to change the fundamental business models of the companies in which we invest.

Within this context, engagement is an important tool in managing risk and building relationships with investee companies. For example, just in the past year we have seen companies respond to requests for greater disclosure on sustainability risk management and reporting, including contributions to industry-wide reporting protocols such as the Carbon Disclosure Project. We were also encouraged to hear that one of our Japanese industrial holdings has addressed corporate governance concerns and appointed its first female director – an important step in improving gender diversity within the leadership team of the firm.

We are also proud of our work in collaboration with FAIRR and As You Sow to seek to reduce the impact of the food value chain by encouraging the use of plant-based protein within food products and alternatives to plastic to wrap them. Both topics have caught the attention of consumers, creating material drivers benefitting companies in our investment universe.

Looking forward, as members of IIGCC and signatories to the TCFD we will continue to ask investee companies to consider not just the positive impact of their products and services in tackling climate change, but also how they are preparing their businesses for the inevitable risks associated with our changing climate. As signatories to the Statement of Investor Commitment to Support a Just Transition on Climate Change, we are keen to support work to maximise the social benefits and minimise the downside risks of the transition for workers and communities.

As a growing firm we are excited to be working increasingly closely with our colleagues in North America who joined as part of the acquisition of Pax World Management during 20181. For the moment, this report sets out the approach, focus areas and outcomes of our engagement for strategies managed from London; however, having now set joint engagement priorities across the Impax Asset Management Group for 2019, we expect to report on our combined efforts going forward.

Lisa Beauvilain

Head of Sustainability & ESG

1Impax acquired Pax World Management LLC on 18 January 2018