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Report

Public Engagement Report, Q2 2022

EOS Insight
28 July 2022 |
EOS at Federated Hermes takes an in-depth look at supply chains and human rights risks. Plus, why curbing methane emissions is critical to tackling the climate crisis, and all the voting season highlights from Europe and North America.

Fast Reading

  • Why companies need to step up scrutiny of their supply chains
  • What oil and gas producers and pipeline operators should be doing to curb wasteful and harmful methane emissions
  • How shareholder proposals on social issues dominated this year’s voting season

Runaway fuel and food prices have pushed many people closer to the brink of destitution over the last two years. The climate crisis is also negatively impacting working conditions for millions of people around the globe. Low-income outdoor workers, such as those employed in agriculture or construction, are especially vulnerable to heat stress, making their working lives a misery, and impacting productivity and output.

In EOS’s Q2 2022 Public Engagement Report, we examine the issues facing companies trying to identify the human rights risks that may be present in complex, opaque supply chains. With new US regulations and tighter EU due diligence rules coming down the track, companies will need to scrutinise their supply chains more closely to identify and address human rights abuses.

In its engagements, EOS encourages companies to move beyond the relatively standard process of auditing supply chains – which may identify concerns but not provide remedy – to consider how their own actions may be exacerbating poor working conditions. Falling under the umbrella term of purchasing practices, this challenges the common approach of pushing much of the burden for improving working conditions on to suppliers alone.

Also in this issue, EOS looks at the race to curb methane emissions to help limit global heating to 1.5°C. Although agriculture accounts for 42% of global methane emissions, the energy sector is responsible for 38%, due to routine flaring, venting and leaky pipes. US engager Diana Glassman explains how we are engaging with oil and gas producers and pipeline operators to reduce these wasteful and harmful emissions.  

“Tackling methane emissions through engagement is not a new focus for us, but we have been able to leverage the greater awareness post-COP26 to help galvanise industry efforts,” she says. “Under our Engagement Plan, we are seeking a 60-75% reduction in oil and gas operational methane emissions by 2030, from a 2015 baseline.”

Finally, Amy Wilson and Laura Jernegan identify the high-profile votes from 2022’s annual shareholder meetings in Europe and North America. This year we saw a raft of shareholder resolutions on social issues such as paid sick leave, animal welfare and living wages, alongside the mainstreaming of say-on-climate votes.

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

Public Engagement Report Q2 2022

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