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Notes from the session. Written by Lisa Codo. Thank you Lisa.
Michael Kind - ShareAction:
ShareAction is a UK NGO that encourages/supports investors to take action against the companies they are invested in.
“We make conscious consumer choices but our pension funds are invested in areas we might not support and simply wouldn’t want to fund”.
Of all the money invested in the UK 50% comes from pensions
£2.6 trillion invested in UK pensions
Its an important part of the economy, pensions aim to grow in value and are often invested in the biggest companies. Those companies usually run projects and it’s the investment income they receive that funds those projects. Eg. Funding of ITV programs, BT’s pension plan funded the Kings Cross expansion.
Individual call to action:
Asset allocation – select where to invest money
Stewardship – you have a seat at the table with voting rights at AGM.
ShareAction can file shareholder resolutions enabling shareholders (like us that have a pension invested in a company), to put forward an idea on which all other shareholders can vote on.
All shareholders are legally allowed to submit a question at the company’s AGM. Technically your shares are owned by your pension provider. Most pension providers are not good at engaging with the companies they are investing in.
Currently ShareAction have been working on the Barclays Resolution as their AGM is in May. They want to push the campaign that Barclays lending should align with the Paris Agreement aims.
Check out ShareAction website on how to take part in Barclays resolution.
NEST? Not all ethical funds are as ethical as consumers may think.
ShareAction is UK only but, Ceres is similar in the US, ERIN is the European Responsible Investment Network
Debated often whether its better to pull out of investing in companies like BP, Shell vs staying in and having a voice to campaign and push them into better directions.
Book from audience suggested – The Fairshare Model – a performance based capital structure…..
Tridos Bank – Ellen Harrison
Aim of Tridos to make money work for a positive change.. 25years old. Protects and promtes quality of life and human dignity.
Lending has to be for positive needs otherwise will be refused. Works like a normal bank with individual and corporate accounts
Work with other groups such as:
Global Alliance for banking – 62 institutions, 12 partners worldwide.
UN Principles for responsible banking - UNEP Financial Initiative, All banks involved have to commit to sustainability.
Idea to make banks accountable for their positive and negative social & env. Impacts
PCAF – carbon accounting financials – disclosure emissions – 59 institutes signed up
Examples of successful projects with Triodos:
1. Berwickshire Housing Assoc – invested in green energy windmills and with profits plough them into housing for local community
2. Riverford Orgs – LT relationship with founder, supported from start up.
3. Uni of Winchester – tackling climate chg from building funded by bank
4. Whitely Village – development of care home with new facilities
Now in pandemic they have helped struggling charities with flexible financing arrangements
On earth day they initiated Earth Switch Campaign to switch to their bank.