Supply Chain Transparency
As part of a group of 16 UNPRI signatories, we engaged with 16 global consumer electronics companies sourcing minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The aim of the engagement was to ensure that companies are not linked to involvement in the on-going conflict in the DRC and surrounding countries, and that supply chain policies are transparent and sufficiently robust to address risks of reputational damage and consumer boycotts.
Over the course of the engagement, which included 18 company meetings, average company performance improved 23% from 2010 to 2011, with greatest progress in the area of disclosure.
Emerging Market Disclosure Project: Focus, South Korea
The Fund is a participant in the Emerging Markets Disclosure Project, an initiative of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. The objectives of the project are to improve disclosure of ESG data by companies in emerging markets.
Our involvement has included a collaborative engagement initiative to increase ESG disclosure in South Korean companies. Overall, all of the 12 targeted companies made good progress – particularly in terms of including materiality assessments, third-party verification and Global Reporting Index indicator mappings in their public reports. Opportunities remain to further improve the quality of their reports, especially in regard to supply chain and labour standards.
FarmRight - NZ dairy farms
The Fund's $150m portfolio of New Zealand rural land is managed by dairy farming specialists FarmRight. FarmRight has a Responsible Farming Policy, agreed with the Guardians, that includes specific policies on:
- environmental management and sustainability;
- health and safety of staff, contractors and visitors;
- human resources;
- animal management and welfare;
- business standards and ethics; and
- asset management.
As a long-term responsible investor, we expect our farms to meet good-practice standards. FarmRight provides detailed reports to us on compliance with their Responsible Farming Policy, and Fund representatives make minimum six-monthly visits to each farm. We aim to bring any farms which are not up to industry good-practice standards at the time of purchase, up to scratch within 12 months. Specific ESG requirements include the commissioning of an external health and safety review of all farms within six months of purchase, and completing any corrective actions required by a review within the nominated timeframe.