Ethos foundation’s international engagement platform – Ethos Engagement Pool (EEP) International – will address digital responsibility and biodiversity as topics in its dialogue with companies in 2022.

EEP International will ask targeted companies to step up efforts to protect the oceans, contain deforestation, cut pollution in the atmosphere, transition from industrial agriculture to regenerative agriculture, and promote circular economy models.

The members of the EEP International pool have also decided to open a dialogue with international companies over potential violations of international standards, it said.

Climate change, human and labour rights, and good governance will remain top priorities in the engagement process with companies next year, it said, as Ethos held the annual general meetings of its Swiss and International engagement pools last week.

EPP International is focusing its engagement activities this year on climate change, human and labour rights and corporate governance.

It is looking in particular at collective engagement practices through Climate Action 100+, at direct engagement to stop forced labour in the supply chains of European technology companies, and energy transition, among other topics.

The members of EEP Switzerland are actively seeking a dialogue with the management of the 150 largest companies listed on the Swiss stock exchange. They will conduct a new a study with EthicsGrade, which rates companies and assesses their progress on digital responsibility on a quarterly basis.

The first results of the study on the practices of the 48 Swiss companies part of the SMI Expanded index showed a “clear lack of transparency” in terms of digital responsibility, Ethos said.

The study looked at digital governance, transparency, data protection, artificial intelligence, sensitive activities, social and environmental impact. EEP Switzerland decided to include digitalisation as a topic of dialogue with companies in 2020.

EEP Switzerland will also push companies to adopt of a code of digital responsibility or to reduce the environmental footprint of their IT equipment, it said.

EEP Switzerland’s engagement topics for 2022 include climate change strategy, principle of good governance, working conditions and respect for human rights including within supply chains, social and environmental reporting and digital responsibility.

At the end of October EEP Switzerland had 153 members, the vast majority Swiss pension funds, with total assets of CHF295bn (€281.9bn). EEP International counted 77 members with CHF217bn in total assets.

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