Sustainability. We mean it.

Public Engagement Report Q2 2023

EOS Insight
28 July 2023 |
The Q2 Public Engagement Report from EOS at Federated Hermes takes an in-depth look at the potential dangers posed by forever chemicals and synthetic pesticides. Plus, Japanese corporate governance reforms and voting season highlights from North America and Europe.
EOS Public Engagement Report Q2 2023

Fast reading

  • Widespread use of synthetic pesticides to protect crops and boost yields poses risks to the environment and human health
  • How the latest Japanese corporate governance reforms can help drive shareholder value
  • Climate lobbying, collective bargaining and tax transparency among the issues addressed by shareholder proposals this voting season

Chemicals and pesticides have been used for decades on an industrial scale, but ‘forever chemicals’ pose a threat to the environment, wildlife and human health. These persistent substances – today mostly associated with non-stick pans and cosmetics – have been the focus of US litigation, while in the UK, concerns have grown about the degradation of waterways due to agrochemical runoff, industrial chemical flushing by manufacturers, and sewage dumping.

In EOS’s Q2 2023 Public Engagement Report, Joanne Beatty explains why certain synthetic chemicals called PFAS are coming under greater regulatory scrutiny, and outlines how we engage with companies on hazardous chemicals. Meanwhile, Sonya Likhtman and Zoe de Spoelberch look at how the widespread use of pesticides to protect crops and boost yields poses risks to the environment and human health.

“Although the toxicity of pesticides to human health is assessed, safety evaluations usually focus on individual chemicals. There is still limited understanding of how different types of pesticide residues on food may interact to potentially impact human health,” they say. Our biodiversity engagement with food and beverage companies includes an expectation for companies to oversee how pesticides are used within their agricultural supply chain. This may include mapping their exposure and setting expectations for suppliers to limit pesticide use, starting with eliminating the most hazardous pesticides.

Also in this issue, Shoa Hirosato and Haonan Wu explain the impact of recent corporate governance reforms in Japan. Their implementation could help to drive an improved focus on shareholder value in Japanese boardrooms and address some long-standing issues around cross-shareholdings, board independence and gender diversity.

Finally, Richard Adeniyi-Jones and Joanne Beatty provide a detailed guide to the key resolutions and trends from the European and North American voting season. As temperatures climbed across Europe, and smoke from Canadian wildfires choked New York, investor dissension mounted over what was seen as backtracking on climate commitments in some quarters. Meanwhile, collective bargaining rights, climate lobbying, racial equity and tax transparency were just some of the topics to feature in shareholder proposals.

To find out more, read the EOS Q2 Public Engagement Report.

EOS Public Engagement Report Q2 2023

EOS Public Engagement Report Q2 2023

Related insights

Lightbulb icon

Get the latest insights straight to your inbox