PLSA ESG 22: Environmental issues should not overshadow social factors

According to A Blueprint for Better Business CEO Charles Wookey, the focus on environmental issues in pensions shouldn’t completely overshadow social issues within the workforce.

Speaking at the PLSA ESG 2022 conference, Wookey argued that while ensuring the industry addresses environmental issues is important, the management of social issues should not be overlooked.

Wookey commented: “Rising inequality is no more a stable equilibrium than rising temperatures and I think there is a real risk that as businesses embark on an ecological transition, we We ended up with a number of very, very acute social problems.”

Expressing his thoughts on what could be done to ensure that social issues don’t get lost in the mess, Wookey added: “I think there are some things that investors can and should hold them to account. at this point on these transitions, and one is this central thinking about what they exist to do in the world in terms of the workforce and the social aspect of that, so the focus on the fairness, the salaries they pay, the discourse and level of dialogue as this transition takes place.

He also described why the danger of social issues was overlooked, pointing to the disparity of information available between the two issues: “The quality around the ‘S’, certainly at the portfolio level, is 10 years behind the ‘E ‘. “we just don’t know what the social implications are of what a lot of these companies are doing.”

TUC President Sue Ferns warned of groups being left behind, including workers on zero-hours contracts: “It is sometimes very difficult for them to have their basic human rights respected,” she said. she stated.

While she praised progressive investors, Ferns also pointed to some areas that could be improved to help zero-hour workers, adding, “I absolutely think the progressive investing community needs to keep doing what she does and maybe do it faster if she can do it.”

“I think for that other group in the corporate world, we really need high-level legislation or frameworks to create the environment and drive the momentum for this to happen.”

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