Defenders of a threatened world

Indigenous Peoples are increasingly on the frontline of the climate crisis, and in recent years we have seen major flashpoints erupt between extractives companies and local communities. For example, Rio Tinto’s destruction of Aboriginal heritage sites at Juukan Gorge damaged the company’s social licence to operate while North American oil and gas pipelines have faced […]

A brave new world?

Since the release of ChatGPT in November 2022, artificial intelligence (AI) has captured the popular imagination. But while AI has the potential to dramatically increase the productivity of businesses and transform many aspects of our daily lives, it also brings with it considerable risks. As generative AI tools proliferate, the biases they sometimes reflect may […]

Public Engagement Report Q3 2023 

Fast Reading  A failure to protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights can expose a company to business, legal and reputational risks As generative AI tools proliferate, the biases they sometimes reflect may perpetuate stereotypes and stall progress towards greater equality The number of climate-related shareholder resolutions rose in developed Asia and emerging markets this voting season Indigenous […]

The COP conundrum

We need only take a cursory check of global weather in recent months to remind ourselves of the consequences of climate change. Over the summer, record temperatures in parts of the US, in southern Europe and in China affected the lives of an estimated 110 million people who regularly experienced temperatures above 40°C. In May and […]

Spectrum Q3 2023: No robots were harmed in the making of this report

In a 1962 collection of short stories, sci-fi sage Arthur C Clarke postulated his third law, that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. Now, as we push through the second decade of the 21st century and into a future seemingly set up for AI, Clarke’s law appears more apt than ever. Through the […]

Investor dissension mounts as temperatures rise

Shareholders continued to call for change at companies this year, bringing a raft of proposals in the US and Europe on collective bargaining rights, climate lobbying, child safety in the digital realm, animal welfare, racial equity and tax transparency. Executive compensation also came under scrutiny as the cost of living crisis continued. Meanwhile, as Europe […]

Japanese reforms ignite investor optimism

Shareholder activism has been on the rise in Japan over the last few years, as institutional investors have grown increasingly frustrated with some companies’ poor governance practices and the slow pace of change. High-profile scandals, such as that at Toshiba, have heightened the pressure on companies to be more responsive to shareholders. Now an update […]

A deadly harvest?

Synthetic pesticides, including herbicides and insecticides, are designed to kill insects, weeds, fungi or other pests, to protect crops, increase food production and reduce the risk of famine. However, the human health and environmental risks associated with particular chemical compounds have been well documented, perhaps most famously in Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring. Carson’s […]

Why forever chemicals aren’t going away

We encounter a host of synthetic chemicals in our daily lives, although many of us are unaware how dangerous they can be to our long-term health. There is particular concern about the persistence of certain synthetic long-lasting chemicals called PFAS, which break down very slowly over time, if at all. These substances contain a strong […]

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 […]