ESG: Black Rock Raises Concerns About Sustainability Commitments

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BlackRock will place greater emphasis on climate issues moving forward. The alternative assets manager worries that firms will stop prioritizing climate and sustainability issues in the face of COVID-19. A new stewardship document expands on the firm’s push on companies to disclose reports on their impact on water pollution and emissions.

BlackRock has called on companies like Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SARM) to make these disclosures and make climate change a priority.

“We recognize that in the near-term companies may need to reallocate resources to address immediate priorities in these uncertain times,” the new report said. The manager also will “expect a return to companies focusing on material sustainability management and reporting” when this crisis ends.

BlackRock and Climate Issues

BlackRock and climate issues have been hot topics for alternative management space. Earlier this year, the company joined CalPERS and many other firms in the Climate Action 100+. CEO Larry Fink also argued that sustainable investments that address climate change will provide better returns in the future.

Fink wrote: “In the near future — and sooner than most anticipate — [climate change would cause] a significant reallocation of capital.”

BlackRock had been the target of climate justice groups like the Extinction Rebellion. It continues to face calls to end its investments in carbon-based energy.

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