Activist investor accuses mainstream managers of ‘greenwash’
Activist investor Chris Hohn, founder and manager of The Children’s Investment fund (TCI), has launched a broadside at the asset management industry for not forcing companies to act on climate change.
He also accused BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, of ‘greenwash’ for not requiring companies to disclose their emissions, calling its track record on voting for environment-related solutions ‘appalling’.
In a letter to investors, reported by the Financial Times, Hohn outlined how TCI would require every company in its portfolios to reveal their annual carbon dioxide emissions via an audit by a third party, not-for-profit environmental consultancy, and to publish reduction targets.
TCI has already written to European aircraft maker Airbus, US broadband operator Charter Communications and ratings agency Moody’s, calling on them to publish their emissions or risk the fund voting against their directors.
‘Investing in a company that doesn’t disclose its pollution is like investing in a company that doesn’t disclose its balance sheet,’ said Hohn. ‘If governments won’t force disclosure, then investors can force it.’
He also called for asset owners, such as sovereign wealth funds and government pension schemes, to sack fund managers who didn’t insist on climate transparency from their investee companies.