In the supply chain, the company is exposed to human rights risks through the cobalt mining process, a key mineral in batteries that power wireless appliances. Initially, it did not have a dedicated cobalt procurement policy, and we perceived the company to have insufficient disclosure of its supply chain management methods and performance indicators.
In addition, we felt there was more the company could do regarding setting emissions reduction goals.
On governance, the company was governed by an all-male board, whose audit committee is chaired by a long-tenured independent director and includes a non-independent director. We engaged with the hope of changing this.
Over the course of our engagement, we have seen progress in the company’s policies and targets. The company implemented a procurement policy for cobalt that required its suppliers to disclose the source of cobalt use in the manufacturing of its products. It has also taken measures to implement the policy effectively.
The company established a board-level committee to develop targets and ambitions around climate change and added a director with ESG experience. It also announced plans to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions for Scopes 1 and 2 by 60% by 2030, and just this year it committed to completing its Scope 3 emissions mapping to submit reduction targets for all three scopes to the Science Based Target initiative for validation by 2025.
We continue engagement on the setting of a resolute target for Scope 3 emissions reduction, and improving board composition and effectiveness with the company. We will push on strengthening governance and oversight at Techtronic, particularly after recent criticism of the company by a short seller.