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Authors

  • Sachi Suzuki
    Nissan Motor manufactures and distributes cars and related parts. It also provides financing services. The company manufactures its products in Japan, the US, the UK and many other countries.
  • Sachi Suzuki
    Samsung Electronics manufactures a wide range of consumer and industrial electronic equipment and products, such as semiconductors, personal computers, peripherals, monitors, televisions, as well as home appliances, including air conditioners and microwave ovens. The company also produces internet access network systems and telecommunications equipment, including mobile phones.
  • Sachi Suzuki
    Samsung Electronics manufactures a wide range of consumer and industrial electronic equipment and products, such as semiconductors, personal computers, peripherals, monitors, televisions, as well as home appliances, including air conditioners and microwave ovens. The company also produces internet access network systems and telecommunications equipment, including mobile phones.
  • Sachi Suzuki
    Panasonic is one of the largest manufacturers of electric and electronic products globally. Background At the beginning of our engagement, the company had a large board with 20 directors none of whom was genuinely independent. Eighteen directors were company executives and the other two, while being designated as outsiders, represented financial institutions with which Panasonic has shareholding and business relationships. The board members were also all Japanese men, demonstrating a clear lack of diversity. In addition, the company’s board introduced a takeover defence scheme, a so-called poison pill, and continued to renew it at its discretion without putting it to a shareholder vote. This is despite the fact that most other Japanese companies that have adopted poison pills have sought shareholder approval at their AGMs, although these typically attract a low level of support.
  • August 22, 2016
    Environment EOS
    Sachi Suzuki
    In 2004, the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a multistakeholder forum, which includes palm oil producers, NGOs and banks, was set up with the aim of promoting the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products. It offers a certification scheme for growers to prove that their palm oil is produced in a sustainable manner. Producers are required to meet a number of criteria on environmental impact, including on biodiversity and carbon emissions, as well as on social matters, for example the rights of workers and local communities. However, to date approximately only 21% of global palm oil is RSPO-certified and questions have been raised about the RSPO’s work and robustness of its certification criteria, for example that it does not take into account greenhouse gas emissions and that certification does not guarantee that the palm oil in a product is deforestation- or exploitation-free. Nevertheless, we believe that the organisation has helped raise awareness about the challenges of palm oil production and made meaningful changes to the way the industry operates.
  • June 6, 2016
    EOS Governance
    Sachi Suzuki
    The introduction of the Stewardship and Corporate Governance Codes in Japan has added momentum to our engagement in Japan although challenges remain. Setting the scene Japan formally made huge strides in corporate governance and stewardship in recent years. In 2014, led by its government and driven by the regulator, the country published its stewardship code, the Principles for Responsible Institutional Investors, in an effort to foster sustainable, longer-term growth and attract foreign investors. The development of the principles-based code by Japan’s financial services industry represented a sea change for Japanese companies, which were used to hard laws and rules. In 2015, the country followed suit with the introduction of its first ever Corporate Governance Code in order to improve the governance structure of Japanese companies. Through our engagement with the relevant regulators and our response to the consultations, we were involved in the development of both codes and contributed towards their implementation.
  • Sachi Suzuki
    Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) is the world’s second-largest palm oil plantation company with nearly 500,000 hectares – including smallholders – of plantation in Indonesia. It has integrated operations focused on the production of palm-based edible oil and fat. In 2009, the company was accused by Greenpeace and other NGOs of contributing to deforestation and causing damage to biodiversity through operation of its palm oil plantations. This resulted in a number of its customers including Unilever, Nestlé, Kraft and Burger King cancelling their contracts. Although they made up less than 3% of GAR’s revenue, the incident tarnished the company’s reputation. What we did We commenced engagement with GAR in 2009. We focused on the objective of ensuring that all of its palm oil is certified in accordance with the respected Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), as well as putting together a credible strategy to address wider sustainability allegations, including the setting of stretching targets.