Climate-focused investor organization the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) announced today the launch of the Net Zero Engagement Initiative (NZEI), kicking off with a group of 93 investors, aimed at scaling and accelerating climate-related corporate engagement.
The initiative was launched with a series of investor letters sent to 107 companies, outlining expectations for credible net zero transition plans, including recommendations for comprehensive net zero commitments, aligned greenhouse gas emissions targets, emissions performance tracking, and a credible decarbonization strategy.
According to the IIGCC, the new initiative aims to help enable investors to act on their net zero commitments to align their portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO, IIGCC, said:
“The Net Zero Engagement Initiative provides part of the solution to the greatest challenge facing investors who have made net zero commitments: how to deliver on these through engagement with companies.”
The launch of the NZEI follows in the footsteps of investor engagement initiative Climate Action 100+, focused on engaging with a focus list of the world’s largest corporate emitters, which included the IIGCC as a founding organization. According to the IIGCC, the new initiative follows “significant progress” from initiative Climate Action 100+’s proactive approach.
“By building on other initiatives, including Climate Action 100+, and by scaling up engagement, the NZEI adds to the ‘how’. In doing so, the NZEI supports investors in the implementation phase of their net zero journey.”
The IIGCC said that the NZEI’s participating investors will develop an engagement strategy for each company, based on the responses to the letters, including “engagement sprints” focused on key pools of companies.
Alongside the launch of the initiative, the IIGCC said that it launched a new guidance resource for companies, “Investor expectations of corporate transition plans: From A to Zero,” aimed at helping companies understand and respond to the investor requests, and including details on information investors may request when assessing transition plans, the reasoning behind the requests and how companies can meet them.
Carol Storey, Climate Engagement Lead, Schroders, said:
”Encouraging companies to develop credible transition plans is the key focus of this initiative; we believe how a company responds to the challenges of climate change could ultimately in the future be key to its bottom line.”