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How to Engage Investors

Investor concerns extend to whether and how companies address sustainability issues, including sustainability goals and strategies. Increasingly, leading investors representing trillions of dollars in assets are evaluating companies on their ability to manage sustainability risks and their strategies for leveraging related business opportunities.

StockExchanges.jpgInvestor concerns extend to whether and how companies address sustainability issues, including sustainability goals and strategies. Increasingly, leading investors representing trillions of dollars in assets are evaluating companies on their ability to manage sustainability risks and their strategies for leveraging related business opportunities.

Top performing companies across all sectors are using a variety of methods to demonstrate to investors not only the risks sustainability challenges pose for the business, but also how sustainability creates opportunities. For example:

  • Utility Xcel Energy uses mainstream investor communications including financial filings, its annual report, press releases, its web site (especially its investor relations pages) and presentations to investors to communicate about sustainability risks and opportunities, including physical and financial risks of climate change.
  • Since 2010, PepsiCo has been actively engaging investors on climate change, water scarcity and public health through its annual financial filings, identifying these issues as its core sustainability challenges. CEO, Indra Nooyi, has spoken out at key events such as the World Economic Forum about the importance of running the business for the long-term duration of the company; and at its most recent annual shareholder meeting the company presented its Performance with Purpose sustainability strategy and goals.
  • At Starbuck’s 2013 shareholder meeting, CEO Howard Schultz described the company’s efforts to engage with suppliers and local communities where they operate, accelerate investments in sustainable farming and reach Starbucks’ goal of ethically sourcing 100 percent of its coffee beans by 2015. Climate change and resulting changes in precipitation patterns have major consequences for coffee growers and Schultz outlined efforts to help coffee growing communities mitigate climate impacts and ensure stable coffee supplies.