Ethos Foundation’s international engagement platform – Ethos Engagement Pools (EEP) – which comprises 100 members with total assets worth CHF286bn (€286.6bn), has placed biodiversity as its top priority, in addition to protection of forests and ecosystems, it said in its latest report on engagement activities published yesterday.

The platform has engaged with companies on the reduction of plastics and air pollution, and to promote circular economy models, as published in its Commitment Paper which clarifies expectations regarding the fight against deforestation, it added.

Last June, EEP International joined a group of institutional investors, coordinated by the Tropical Forest Alliance, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and supported by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) to support an initiative tackling deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia.

With the Investor Policy Dialogue on Deforestation (IPDD) the group intends to coordinate a dialogue on stopping deforestation with political decision-makers. EEP International actively participates in specific working groups in Brazil with the support of 67 investors representing $10,000bn in total assets, the report said.

Last year, EEP International took part in 45 engagement campaigns, with 2,083 companies targeted, and conducted 542 engagement activities, according to the report. It held direct dialogue with 45 companies as part of Ethos’ own engagement campaigns, with 52 companies as part of a collaborative engagement campaign, it added.

On environmental topics, EEP international engaged mostly on climate change (49%), followed by impact on environment (28%), biodiversity (15%), and deforestation (9%).

On social topics,  the platform conducted engagement campaigns particularly on the respect for human rights (54%), labour rights (34%) and health and safety (12%).

As part of the EEP International pool, 23 initiatives related to climate change were conducted last year, targeting 1,367 companies on absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the MSCI World index, absolute GHG emissions of the MSCI EM index, and absolute GHG emissions of the MSCI ACWI index.

It pursued the goal to force firms to measure emissions according to an internationally recognised standard such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol), adopting ambitious reduction targets, and measuring emissions also at the level of the supply chain.

EEP International and a group of institutional investors, coordinated by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), plans to launch an engagement campaign to push big issuers of GHG, mainly in Europe, to adopt and implement net-zero commitments, the report said.

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