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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

Ken Pucker, widely known Professor of Practice at Tufts Fletcher School and the Keynote speaker at our upcoming PracticalESG Conference, penned a thought-provoking commentary on LinkedIn yesterday. Ken looks at Engine No. 1, the small investment fund that shook the world two years ago by successfully leading an activist campaign against ExxonMobil based on climate matters.

Seems like the investment firm is heading down an altogether different philosophical path these days. Ken posts:

“Over the last month, Engine No. 1 invested $780M into Brazilian miner Vale and sold its #etf business to asset manager The TCW Group. While it’s not clear what motivated this shift, what is known is that…

* Engine No. 1 did not launch any other campaigns post the Exxon campaign
* According to the NYT, its ETFs have ‘invested in high polluting energy, transportation and agriculture companies saying this enables it to keep pressure on them to decarbonize.’ 
* Exxon has ‘doubled down on oil and gas significantly increasing drilling in the Permian Basin and expanding offshore drilling in Guyana’.
* Unlike many of its EU competitors, Exxon has not set #scope3emissions reductions targets
* Vale is the Brazilian mining company responsible for the dam collapse in Brumadinho that released 4,700 Olympic swimming pools of water killing 270 people.

No doubt. Change is hard. But, I also wonder what Engine No. 1’s shift says about the limits of activism, impact accounting and secondary market impact investing?”

He has a point. Want to hear more from Ken? Join us virtually September 19 when he will discuss the reality of ESG investing and expectations of outcomes.

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The Editor

Lawrence Heim has been practicing in the field of ESG management for almost 40 years. He began his career as a legal assistant in the Environmental Practice of Vinson & Elkins working for a partner who is nationally recognized and an adjunct professor of environmental law at the University of Texas Law School. He moved into technical environmental consulting with ENSR Consulting & Engineering at the height of environmental regulatory development, working across a range of disciplines. He was one… View Profile