ESG roundup: Another investor culls tobacco firms

first_imgSwedish pension and insurance company Länsförsäkringar has divested from all tobacco producers, citing negative health, social and environmental impacts.The company said that tobacco firms had become an increasingly poor investment choice over recent years, but also often disregarded workers’ rights and impacted the environment negatively.Christina Kusoffsky, head of sustainability at Länsförsäkringar, said: “Many may think more about the health problems, but tobacco producers also threaten the environment and biodiversity.“Two thirds of the world’s tobacco is grown in emerging markets. An estimated 200,000 hectares of forest, primarily rainforest, are harvested every year for the benefit of tobacco cultivation and for drying the leaves.” The tobacco cull applies to Länsförsäkringar’s direct investments and its own funds, and includes companies such as Imperial Tobacco Group, Swedish Match and Philip Morris International.The company has also excluded mining company Vale from its investment universe, in the wake of a fatal Brazilian dam collapse in January.Länsförsäkringar said Vale was considered to be among the top 100 greenhouse gas emitters in the world, and also claimed that it had violated human rights conventions.In addition, questions about the condition of other dams controlled by Vale remained unanswered by the company, the Swedish group said.Energy firms review climate lobbying after investor pressure Credit: RWEA coal-fired power plant run by RWE in Westfalen, GermanyAP7 has hailed a “big success” for collaborative efforts with other shareholders in two German companies after they pledged to address concerns about industry lobby groups and climate change.German energy company RWE and German chemicals firm BASF have pledged to put higher demands on the industry groups to which they belong.AP7 – one of Sweden’s largest pension funds – said: “An important key to achieving this success was that several European institutional owners collaborated, not least the German firm Union Investment, which pushed the issue during the general meetings of RWE and BASF.”The pension fund said it had moved its focus to Europe, after driving demand for greater transparency around lobbying in the US for a number of years.AP7 said it had also received an agreement from Germany’s HeidelbergCement, stating that it would review its climate lobbying.Other companies now working to increase the transparency of their lobbying activities include mining companies BHP, Anglo American and Rio Tinto, and oil giant Shell, the fund said.AP7 acknowledged that it would be easier for an institutional investor to avoid such companies by simply selling shares, but emphasised that it was more important to influence them in the right direction instead.last_img read more

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Sterling domino effect: Dzeko, Jovetic and Higuain transfers could follow

first_imgRaheem Sterling’s proposed £49 million switch to Manchester City could spark a domino effect involving transfers for Citizens duo Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic and Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, according to Italian media.The trio have been linked with moves to Roma, Inter and Liverpool respectively. Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini jetted into Manchester on Sunday evening to thrash out a €15m (£10.7m) transfer for Dzeko, although City are believed to be holding out for €20m (£14.3m).Jovetic could be handed an escape route back to Serie A by Inter Milan – with City keen to unload players ahead of the big-money arrival of Sterling.The Montenegrin striker has struggled to make an impact at City since a £22m move from Fiorentina and managed just five Premier League goals last season.However, La Gazzetta dello Sport and Tuttosport reported that Inter are holding out for Chelsea winger Mohamed Salah, who is believed to be the Nerazzurri’s top target ahead of Jovetic. Any delay could see Roma’s Sabatini ask for Jovetic as well as Dzeko during his Manchester visit. Meanwhile, Liverpool will soon have a huge influx of cash from the Sterling sale, meaning they can dive in for Napoli hitman Higuain. The door is more than open for an offer, as President Aurelio De Laurentiis was caught on camera telling fans “I wish” Higuain would leave. “With €90m I can buy eight players!”While the proposal won’t reach that height for Pipita, Napoli and Liverpool could do a deal for the Argentine. His confidence was battered over the summer by the Copa America, where he missed a decisive penalty in the shoot-out final against Chile.–last_img read more

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