to our questions
During the assessment of a company in the selection phase, we closely examine policies, programmes and performance. By engaging with companies throughout the assessment process, we give them an opportunity to share their perspective on particular issues and provide additional information that is not in the public domain.
In 2015, we engaged with 83 companies during the selection phase. When Triodos Research considers a company for investment, we assess all aspects of a company’s sustainability performance. Engagement during the selection phase can be a simple request for more information, a more detailed discussion on a company’s activities and policies, and/or an in depth meeting about the company’s strategy, providing information about our requirements and suggestions on how to meet these. As with all engagement activities, Triodos Research uses the selection phase to push the sustainability agenda within companies. Fifty seven companies assessed responded to our questions and 17 engagement efforts were pending at the end of the year. Accor is an example of a company that did not respond to our questions. Triodos Research was therefore unable to identify whether the company meets our minimum standards, resulting in the removal of the company from our sustainable investment universe.
For a full overview of engagement activities during the selection phase see (PDF:) annex 1.
The results of our assessment are shared with the companies researched. For companies selected for sustainable investment, this feedback includes a full overview of their performance on key sustainability themes and areas for further improvement. Some companies seek further dialogue based on our feedback. In 2015, we informed 139 companies of their assessment results, of which 25 replied asking for more information or just thanking us for the feedback as it helps them to improve further.
Triodos Research actively monitors companies that have been selected for the Triodos Sustainable Investment Universe. If we see a potential violation of our minimum standards, we start an investigation into the controversy and often enter into dialogue with the company. We also contact companies on specific topics. During 2015, we engaged 69 times with 54 companies during monitoring.
Following-up on engagement efforts on animal welfare, the fund sent letters to eight food retail and hotels & restaurants companies in April 2015, describing the key findings of its engagement activities in 2014 and highlighting best practices. Each company received specific recommendations for change based on these best practices. The fund will continue to assess progress and cntinue its engagement efforts.
For a full overview of monitoring activities see (PDF:) annex 2.