Institutional investors urge Dutch business leaders to take action on achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals

13-10-2017

Institutional investors are calling on Dutch companies to take concrete action towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Among the in 2015 adopted goals are an end to poverty and hunger; action on climate change and its impacts; gender equality, and access to clean water and sustainable energy. In today’s published Focus Letter for the 2018 reporting and AGM Season, Eumedion encourages all Dutch listed companies to assess on which 17 Sustainable Development Goals they can generate most impact and to align their business practices and KPI framework with these Goals. Eumedion also stresses the importance of clear and meaningful reporting on the companies’ SDG objectives, the progress made and the generated impact.

Besides the achievements on realising the Sustainable Development Goals, Eumedion participants will give specific attention to the opportunities and risks of technological changes. Eumedion considers that developments in robotics, artificial intelligence, big data and digitalisation can result in smarter use of energy and water, as well as lower levels of pollution. At the same time, these technological changes may lead to increased uncertainty about job security, cybersecurity and the level of privacy. Eumedion urges Dutch listed companies therefore to report on how technological changes are reflected or will be reflected in the company’s strategy, business model and risk management framework and how it will impact the company’s stakeholders. Moreover, institutional investors expect that all listed companies demonstrate that they have sufficient technological capabilities and skills in place, also at the level of the board.

In a separate letter to the audit firms, Eumedion calls on the auditors to further enhance the ‘key audit matters’ section of the audit report. Eumedion specifically urges auditors to report on the auditor’s observations with respect to the quality and effectiveness of the company’s internal control framework.

Click here for the 2018 Focus Letter.

Click here for the 2018 Auditors Letter.