A group of shareholders in JFE Holdings (“JFE”), one of Japan’s leading steelmakers, today welcomed the announcement of enhanced climate commitments by the company following recent engagement on the topic.
JFE today announced in its Notice of the 20th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders the following measures designed to enhance the company’s climate governance structure and promote ongoing conversation with shareholders about its decarbonisation plans:
- A commitment to an annual consideration of its emissions reduction target, with a focus on exceeding its current target of 30% reduction by 2030
- An annual conversation with shareholders about the alignment of its technology investment with its target
- A commitment to link executive remuneration with its target in the company’s medium term business plan
The shareholder group, comprising Man Group, Storebrand and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), has had dialogue with JFE in recent months with a focus on enhancements to climate governance.
Jason Mitchell, Head of Responsible Investment Research at Man Group said: “This outcome demonstrates the strong alignment of company and shareholder interests in respect of JFE’s decarbonisation plans. Remuneration-climate linkage is an increasingly important marker of credibility in company plans, and long term investors can take comfort in JFE’s commitment in this regard. This engagement is testament to the positive outcomes that the collaboration between investors, corporates and civil society can achieve.”
Victoria Lidén, Senior Sustainability Analyst at Storebrand Asset Management, said: “Decarbonisation of the steel industry is a critical global challenge. We are pleased that JFE recognises the need for strong governance structures, and the need for ongoing revision of targets based on technology advancements and investments, to support company decarbonisation. As shareholders, we are looking forward to a continued and constructive engagement with JFE.”
Brynn O’Brien, Executive Director, at ACCR, said: “Constructive investor-company engagement is an extremely promising accelerator of decarbonisation around the world, and we commend JFE for their responsive approach to dialogue that has resulted in an outcome designed to protect long term corporate value. We are looking forward to engaging with JFE and other Japanese companies to promote long term value and achieve planetary climate goals."
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Storebrand Asset Management is a highly regarded player in the Nordic markets and a pioneer in the field of sustainable investments. Storebrand Asset Management manage over NOK 1 000 bn in both private and public markets and all assets are managed in accordance with a strict and innovative strategy for sustainable investments.