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Trillion Dollar Fund To Remove Exxon from ESG Funds

The asset management arm of UK’s insurer Legal & General will remove ExxonMobil from its Future World Funds as these are focused on clients with an interest in investing in environmental, social, and governance high scorers.

Reuters reports, however, that Legal & General Investment Management, which manages some $1 trillion in assets, will keep Exxon in its other funds along with the other companies it will be dropping from the Future World Funds. It will express its dissatisfaction with the boards of these companies for failure to meet its requirements for environmental responsibility by voting against the chair.

“In all other LGIM (non-Future World) funds that remain invested in those companies that have not met our criteria, we will vote against the election of the chair of the board,” said the head of LGIM’s Head of Sustainability and Responsible Investment Strategy, Meryam Omi.

“We can vote against the chair on any number of issues, so to do so because of a single issue such as climate change sends a powerful message to companies that they should be raising their standards in this area,” Omi also said.

Exxon was singled out for failure to meet even the minimum requirements for sustainability. The company does not report emissions and has not put in place emission reduction targets despite shareholder pressure.

LGIm is not alone in its efforts to force corporates to commit to greater environmental responsibility. Last week Bloomberg reported that a group of asset managers including HSBC Global Asset Management and Investec along with 85 other investors have stepped up pressure on large companies to commit to the emissions reporting standard compiled by the Carbon Disclosure Project, a UK non-profit focusing on corporate emissions reporting.

According to a representative of the non-profit, investors needed “consistent, comparable information collected in one place so that they can benchmark performance and use the data to inform their decisions.”

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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