DWS relies on the active dialogue with investee companies in order to support positive transformation. We have identified 3 topics and sent letters to the management to explain our concrete corporate governance expectations. Based on these requirements, we design further engagement steps and also define escalation levels. We regularly report the results of our corporate governance activities in our Active Ownership Report.
We expect companies that face substantial climate transition risks to accelerate their efforts in setting ambitious emission reduction targets and providing enhanced transparency on their roadmap towards climate neutrality.
Letter sent to more than 220 companies from various industries worldwide in June 2021.
Analysis focuses on Scope 1 and 2 emissions, climate transition risk rating, and Climate Action 100+ Net Zero Benchmark constituents
Climate change and the risks arising from it were one of our focus areas in 2020 and will remain focus also in 2021 and beyond. In particular, we expect energy companies facing substantial climate and transition risks and/or are seriously violating internationally recognized ESG standards to significantly increase their efforts to set ambitious and material ESG targets and to transparently and understandably outline their strategy in this regard.
Letter sent to 53 international companies in the energy sector in December 2020.
Analysis focuses on climate change risks and violations of international standards
Companies that are potentially involved in the production of nuclear weapons received our letter, requesting a clear disclosure about the level of involvement and on how a potential involvement would be handled in the future. Bilateral discussions have already begun based on our engagement letters and will continue in 2021 and beyond.
Considering the current restrictions on public meetings in the context of COVID-19, many of this years’ annual general meetings will take place online, without the physical presence of shareholders. Based on our continuous corporate governance activities and in line with our fiduciary duty, we have sent the following questions to the boards of some of our portfolio companies in written form:
Key elements of appropriate disclosure as the term of appointment of the lead audit partner as to demonstrate his/her independence and objectivity: max. 5 year rotation for the audit partner
Disclosure of the non-auditing services and the appropriateness of the related fees to validate the independence of the external auditors
Consideration of international standards regarding the ESG disclosure (e.g. TCFD, SASB, GRI, IIRC, SBT