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AUM in Action

Investors Send “Clear Signal” on Plastics Crisis

Coordinated by the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO), 185 investors with US$10 trillion in combined assets, are calling on corporates to address the plastics crisis, noting the serious and growing threat to the environment, human rights and public health. Signatories have warned that failing to address plastics-related impacts exposes companies to financial and legal risks that will threaten value creation and investment returns. “It’s worrying to see most companies in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and grocery retail sectors are taking limited action to mitigate the financial risks posed by plastics,” said VBDO Executive Director Angélique Laskewitz. “Today investors are sending a clear signal to these companies they will face ever-increasing pressure if they don’t act soon to substantially reduce their plastic footprint.” Companies are being asked to significantly reduce material consumption, eliminate single-use packaging, and upscaling reusable packaging systems, developing and implementing an action plan with clearly defined timescales for progress. Signatories, which include AXA Investment Managers, Aviva Investors, and Ethos Foundation, have also asked companies to publicly support ambitious policy on plastic reduction, including the Global Plastics Treaty. Lindsey Stewart, Director of Investment Stewardship Research at Morningstar, said: “This new investor coalition seeking to tackle the issue of plastic pollution well illustrates how sustainability-conscious asset managers are widening their focus on environmental matters beyond climate change [and] illustrates how asset managers and owners are taking a more holistic view of how various environmental risks connect to each other, and how they impact society more broadly.” 


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