Companies must effectively manage sustainability goals, Brunel says

Brunel Pensions Partnership, a Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) pool, has outlined its expectations of companies regarding its sustainable development goals (SDG) in a new policy paper.

The group’s Stewardship Policy published today, 12 November, laid out three key principles which companies should be considering, including SDGs, climate change and tax strategies.

The document, which covers all asset classes and also includes the group’s voting policy, said that the £30bn pool will “engage actively” with all companies who are looking to implement guidelines on the issues.

Brunel said: “Companies should effectively manage environmental and social factors, in pursuit of enhancing their sustainability.

“A company’s governance, social and environmental practices should meet or exceed the standards of its market regulations and general practices and should take into account relevant factors that may impact significantly the company’s long-term value creation.”

Brunel Pension Partnership currently invests on behalf of 10 pension funds, including Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, the Environment Agency, Gloucestershire, Devon, Dorset, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

On aggressive tax strategies, Brunel said that even if structured legally, the can “pose potentially significant reputational and commercial risk for companies”.

Brunel expects companies to “provide country-by-country reporting in order to demonstrate that taxes are paid where economic value is generated”.

Last month, it invested £340m into two long-lease property funds, in the first two investments into its Secured Income Portfolio. The LGPS giant committed £169m into both the M&G Secured Property Fund and the Aberdeen Standard Long Lease Property Fund.

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