Sackers launches latest ESG guidance for trustees

Sackers today announced the launch of its latest Environmental, Social and corporate Governance guide for pension scheme trustees.

Stuart O’Brien, Partner at Sackers, commented: “For many years ESG has been one of a number of issues vying for trustee attention, often with limited success. Whilst interest has been steadily increasing, this is set to speed up exponentially with the announcement last week that the DWP plans to consult on ESG fiduciary duties from June. Investment managers are now also making much of their own ESG credentials, keen for trustees to really think about how they incorporate sustainability and other financially-material factors into their investment process – rather than simply trying to maximise returns at all costs.

“With all of this in mind, it is timely for those trustees who have not already done so to really think about their desired approach to ESG. We hope this guide will help trustees to navigate this complex area, to empower them to challenge their managers, consultants and investee companies effectively, and to make decisions that are in line with the true purposes of the scheme.”

The guide provides an overview and update of key developments and trustees’ legal obligations in this area and focuses in particular on:

  • Unpicking the fiduciary duty and applying it to common ESG approaches
  • Navigating the bewildering number of acronyms, jargon and organisations involved in ESG
  • What’s coming up on the agenda for trustees in the next 12 months
  • Next steps – practical actions for trustees wishing to advance ESG in their schemes

For the last few years, Sackers has been advising trustees’ on the development and implementation of ESG strategy and engagement policies, including how to document these in a Statement of Investment Principles (SIP), and providing ESG training to trustees and pension scheme providers.

The guide can be found in full here

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