Nikko Asset Management has joined nearly 200 investors in calling for the reduction of single use plastics among companies.
In May this year, the coalition headed up by the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Investment (VBDO), signed a statement demanding companies adopt a more radical approach to reduce their reliance on plastics. They warn that the plastics lifecycle poses a “serious and growing” threat to the environment, climate, biodiversity, human rights and public health and called for intensive users of plastic packaging such as grocery retailers to act more swiftly to address the issue.
Angelique Laskewitz, executive director of VBDO, said: “Failing to address their impacts exposes companies to financial risks as well as investment returns, given the wave of action to tighten legislation and the increasing number of lawsuits against companies as well as the potential threat to brand value.”
Between last July and August, the group sent out letters to two dozen companies including Ahold Delhaize, Pepsi and Danone, demanding to commit to new concrete targets to reduce material consumption and eliminate single use plastic packaging.
Laskewitz added: “Companies will almost certainly miss existing targets. We need a new way forward. If they are not willing or able to find it themselves, we will gladly give them a little push towards the right direction.”
Stefanie Drews, president of Nikko Asset Management, said: “Single-use plastics in the fast moving consumer goods and grocery retail sectors are a risk to public health, the environment and financial bottom lines. Engaging with companies on this topic demonstrates our commitment to nature and society.
“Becoming a signatory to VBDO’s statement and playing an active part in the ongoing collective engagement is just one component of our commitment to sustainability. We hope we will inspire other investors to sign as others before us have inspired us.”