SHARE Email Facebook Twitter December 28, 2015 Governor Wolf Orders Flags at Half-Staff to Honor Mary Scranton Flag Order, Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf has ordered Commonwealth flags at commonwealth facilities statewide to fly at half-staff to honor former First Lady of Pennsylvania Mary Scranton.“Frances and I extend our deepest condolences to the entire Scranton family on the passing of their mother and grandmother, Mary. The Scrantons dedicated their lives to service of Pennsylvania and the nation. We thank Mary for her contributions to the commonwealth and wish her family the best during this difficult time.”Mary Chamberlin Lowe Scranton, 97, was the wife of William Warren Scranton, Pennsylvania’s 38th governor. She worked with the Army Air Force Intelligence Service during World War II, led various Scranton community organizations to improve the city’s housing market and serve children with autism and behavioral problems, and later chaired the governing board of California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion lab, where she advocated for funding for space exploration.Flags shall be lowered to half-staff effectively immediately and remain lowered until sunset on Sunday, January 3, 2016.All Pennsylvanians are invited to participate in this tribute to Mary Scranton.# # #
Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer, Brunel Pension Partnership“I believe this to be one of the first reports coming out that explicitly tries to satisfy all the needs and requirements within the Stewardship Code,” said Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel, the asset pooling vehicle for 10 funds in the local government pension scheme (LGPS) in England and Wales.This was done in a “soft”, or “subtle”, way, she told IPE, with Brunel juggling addressing multiple audiences but producing the report primarily with its client funds and their beneficiaries in mind.“It’s been written primarily with a beneficiary lens, but trying to satisfy the FRC and the FCA as we go,” said Ward. “Trying to make that all fit together – trying to make a report that is engaging and interesting but also meeting regulatory requirements – was not an easy thing to do.Thinking about and presenting Brunel’s work in terms of outcomes was also a challenge, she said, adding “I think that is something we will be working on as an industry for quite some time to be able to do that across all the areas.”Brunel is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a full service MiFID firm. With a view to one of the FCA’s requirements, the pool’s responsible investment and stewardship outcomes report outlines how Brunel manages conflicts of interest.Ward said the report was also written with the revised Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II), which is the FCA’s remit, in mind.Carbon reporting – baseline setBrunel’s new report also contains a wealth of carbon metrics, with the pool noting that the report sets a 2019 baseline for its target to reduce the carbon intensity of its portfolios by at least 7% each year until 2022 relative to its benchmark.“All active portfolios have achieved more than 7% carbon intensity improvements against their benchmarks, and our low carbon index has a carbon intensity of less than half that of the standard index,” it reported.Ward told IPE that the climate risk performance was at least in part due to how Brunel wove carbon awareness into its manager selection and portfolio construction.With a 2019 baseline having been set, the next steps for Brunel include delivering on the commitments it made in its new five-point climate policy, and developing its climate and carbon metrics reporting to demonstrate progress and real-world outcomes.In Sweden, AP2 breaks down carbon footprint improvements into two, those due to changes in portfolio holdings and those due to holdings reducing emissions, and Ward suggested this was the kind of disclosure Brunel would be looking to provide.“We started using carbon footprinting to see where we are at, and in subsequent years will be adding analysis and explanations for changes,” she told IPE.The climate metrics Brunel reported in today’s report include weighted average carbon intensity (with revenue as the measure by which emissions are divided), disclosure rates, fossil fuel reserves exposure, emissions from reserves, and Transition Pathway Initiative assessments.Brunel is one of the UK’s eight LGPS asset pools, managing the investment of pension assets for the funds of Avon, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Environment Agency, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. They have some £30bn (€35bn) in assets between them.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. Consideration of environmental and social factors is clearly stated as an important principle.In its newly published report Brunel said it supports and applies the definition of stewardship in the 2020 Code, and that its report is “intended to meet the best practice requirements” of the code. Brunel Pension Partnership has published its first annual responsible investment and stewardship outcomes report, positioning itself as an early mover with regard to reporting aimed at meeting the UK’s updated stewardship code.Asset managers and asset owners wanting to become signatories to the new code have to produce an annual stewardship report explaining how they have applied the code in the previous 12 months – and meeting the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) expectations for what that reporting should constitute.To be included in the first list of signatories, organisations must submit a final report to the FRC by 31 March 2021.The new code took effect in January, and is considerably more demanding of investors, with a strong focus on the activities and outcomes of stewardship as opposed to just policy statements, and reporting expectations set for asset classes beyond listed equity.