Our findings suggest that asset managers’ focus on ESG more often than not is limited to governance issues such as board structure and remuneration. Of the 22 asset managers that disclosed a policy on ESG issues 19 covered only corporate governance issues, while only F&C, Insight and Standard Life could explain their policy on environmental and social factors in any detail. Similarly, on corporate engagement, although the overall score for the 30 asset managers on ESG engagement was 53%, this fell to a mere 25% when environmental and social issues were considered separately from governance. It appears as though investment analysis of environmental and social risks/opportunities is confined to a small niche in the industry. This is a significant cause for concern as the risks associated with environmental and social mismanagement by companies can be as damaging to value as governance issues both in the short and the long run.
Here is the TUC reaction. As they say, there's not much evidence of the S in ESG.