The members of Ethos’ international engagement program also approved the engagement topics for 2021 on Thursday. In addition, they approved the launch by Ethos of a new international engagement campaign to mitigate deforestation.
The 62 current members of EEP International, who together represent assets amounting to over CHF 186 billion, approved the engagement topics for the year 2021 on Thursday. Three areas remain the main priorities: climate change, human and labour rights and good corporate governance.
A new direct engagement program was also approved by the members: the mitigation of deforestation. “The logging of natural forests is a major cause of climate change, says Matthias Narr, Head of Engagement International at Ethos. 11% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are due to deforestation and the conversion of natural ecosystems. At the same time, deforestation causes biodiversity loss marked by a constantly increasing rate of extinction of animal and plant species", he adds.
Ethos will focus on deforestation in Brazil linked to the beef and soybean value chains. The main objectives will be to ensure that the boards of directors of the concerned companies implement monitoring policies in relation to deforestation, that these policies are made publicly available and that they also apply to direct and indirect suppliers, and that companies regularly report on progress made in implementing these policies.
The EEP International enables Swiss pension funds to dialogue with listed companies outside Switzerland. The dialogue takes place either directly with companies, or through participation in international collective engagement initiatives, such as the Climate Action 100+ initiative, which aims to encourage the most carbon-intensive companies in the world to take concrete measures to fight against global warming. EEP International members thus benefit from a global network of institutional investors and groups of investors with whom Ethos has worked closely for many years.