Investors to target company directors who fail to address climate change

A UK investment fund has stated it will work to get company directors removed from firms, should they fail to make good environmental pledges.

It is becoming clear that businesses could be the driving force of avoiding catastrophic climate change, with prospects of the world looking completely different should companies take action. However, to achieve this, the pressure is now being applied to company directors, with clear personal consequences.

Big investment funds are starting to force the hand of bosses to change how they operate their company, with consequences for board directors should they fail. Aviva Investors seek to remove board directors of firms who take part in deforestation and wants directors pay to be linked to the achievement of sustainability, while BlackRock, the worlds largest fund, has told the firms it invests in to, to step up on sustainability or face the consequences.

Despite this approach being audacious, investors have expressed this approach makes good business sense as we are now beginning to see a shift and development in consumer expectations, only optimising companies who address climate change and work to make a difference.

We have seen this approach have a positive influence, 280 firms changed their practices last year after receiving pressure from Aviva Investors. Identifying that targeting the decision makers of the company (directors) makes for faster action being taken. These actions include providing more detailed explanations of how environmental goals are to be met and better efforts to ensure they are achieved, eliminating the publication of vague targets to prevent being held accountable.

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