Dutch responsible investor body highlights three key 2021 AGMs themes
VBDO, the Dutch association of investors for sustainable development, has prioritised the three themes that shall be brought on the agenda of annual general meetings of Dutch listed companies this year. The topics are namely climate adaptation (for the third year in a row), working conditions in supply chains and diversity (for the second year). VBDO first expects companies to identify risks and opportunities raising from physical impacts of climate change upon their activity and supply chain, therefore, to develop climate adaption strategies.
“Climate adaptation strategies ensure that a company is resilient to the impact of direct (acute and short-term) climate risks, such as heavy rainfall, heat and water stress. But it also means resilience to indirect (permanent and long-term) climate risks, such as GDP growth, ecosystem degradation and migration,” argued VBDO.
The association expects also more Dutch firms to subscribe to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, in order for them to address the issue of working conditions of supply chain’s employees, especially in certain regions of the world. “Companies can best work proactively within the sector, with local stakeholders and NGOs. They should also work with suppliers to improve due diligence practices, set relevant goals, and develop KPIs for measuring progress,”
Regarding diversity, VBDO believes that companies should mirror the society in which they operate and expects them to establish a comprehensive diversity strategy and set goals as well as indicators to measure progress achieved.