In the face of major anthropogenic calamities human beings tend to channel all the attention to the downstream effects focusing on the emergency matters, and little is deployed to understand the upstream causes and prevent the recurrence of similar events. Covid-19 is no exception. Warning calls from the scientific community about the links between deforestation and pandemics raised already during previous infectious diseases such as Ebola, Zika, SARS. There is growing consensus that “there is no solution to the climate and nature crisis the world faces without a solution to deforestation” (Forest500). Most of the tropical deforestation is driven by agricultural expansion to produce commodities such as soy, palm oil, timber, and beef. Nowadays no effective, coordinated global action plan is put in place to limit the detrimental impact of altered forest ecosystems. Along with the outbreak of zoonotic diseases, the loss of biodiversity, soil erosion as well as global warming, the uncontrolled forest-risk commodity trade engenders conflicts with local communities, where indigenous people suffer human rights abuses and repression for defending their territories. Otherwise stated, deforestation practices have pervasive, adverse effects like few others coming from human-led activities.
As already observed in the past, many think that the vaccines will lead to the “business-as-usual” attitude as the only outcome of the Covid-19 experience.
However, we at EFGAM believe that the current crisis should not be a lost opportunity to make people become aware that we all share a responsibility. We as a financial institution respond to that responsibility by addressing this topic on an ongoing basis by engaging with multiple partners, whether they be single companies, public entities or NGOs. Now more than ever, engagement has become an impelling way to construct a dialogue between stakeholders to achieve a common goal, our own survival.
Ownership rights give an investor a powerful tool to influence a company’s behaviour on ESG matters. Our fiduciary duty requires that our clients’ interests be safeguarded by an all-around assessment, ranging from traditional financial metrics to sustainability perspectives. Investors have, as shareholders, the ability to play an active role in raising companies’ awareness of their responsibility towards all their stakeholders. Along with the voting rights, engagement is an additional and complementary activity that allows investors to establish a dialogue with investee companies. This is in the belief that long-term value preservation can only be ensured by a proactive exercise of all the economic actors’ roles in today’s challenging landscape.
The present report relates to the engagement activities carried out by EFGAM in compliance with the following best practices and principles: ➡ PRI (the Principles of Responsible Investing); ➡ The Global Stewardship Principles (established by the ICGN, the International Corporate Governance Network); and ➡ The Sustainable Development Goals (established by the United Nations).
For more detail and in depth coverage please download the full report below.