Impact Management | March 9, 2021

Tools to help keep companies and funds accountable on climate, diversity and racial justice

Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, March 9 – Two-thirds of the companies in the S&P 500 made statements calling for racial justice in the aftermath of last year’s killing of George Floyd. The Berkeley, Calif.-based shareholder advocacy group As You Sow looked at whether they walked the talk.

As You Sow’s latest scorecard measures the 250 largest U.S.-based companies on racial justice disclosure and action. Leaders: Alphabet, Intel, BlackRock, Walmart, and clothing maker PVH. Laggards: Biogen, Domino’s, home builder D.R. Horton, Paycom and Verisign. Racial justice leaders also do well on As You Sow’s diversity, equity and inclusion rankings.

The scorecards “provide a helping hand to get companies on the path to end systemic racism,” said As You Sow’s Olivia Knight.

Other tools to provide transparency – and push companies and fund managers to raise their game:

Climate friendly

CDP offers an assessment of 20,000 global funds based on Climetrics’ system for scoring how a fund’s portfolio holdings disclose and manage greenhouse gas emissions, water resources and deforestation, as well as the fund’s investment policy and climate governance.

Funds from Allianz, Aviva, AXA, Candriam, HSBC and Schroders are among the top 20 actively managed funds supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy, according to a CDP. All but one are European: U.S.-based Fisher Investments made the list with its Institutional Emerging Markets Responsible Equity ex Fossil Fuels funds. Others in the top 20 active funds: Amundi, Erste Group, Federated Hermes, La Banque Postale Asset Management, Nordea and Robeco.

VC diversity

An interactive dashboard from Deloitte, along with the National Venture Capital Association and Venture Forward, shows the venture capital industry’s progress, or lack thereof.

While women make up 45% of the VC workforce, they represent just 16% of investment partners. Just 4% of VC workers and 3% of investment partners are Black.