A panel considering emerging environmental, social and governance issues caused a bit of a buzz at a conference this month.
The Principles for Responsible Investment's annual “PRI in Person” conference, Sept. 8-10 in London, featured a call to action on the plight of honey bees and other natural pollinators.
Abigail Herron, head of responsible investment engagement at Aviva Investors, said there has been a dramatic loss in the global bee population. Among the challenges she noted: “colony collapse disorder,” when bees suddenly leave the hive; the effects of pesticides; and loss of habitat.
Ms. Herron delivered the final sting by demonstrating how big this problem is: “One-third of the mouthfuls that you eat comes from foods that are naturally pollinated.”
Also under consideration was animal factory farming, with a presentation by Jeremy Coller, founder and chief investment officer of Coller Capital, and founder of the Jeremy Coller Foundation and the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return Initiative.
“Factory farming ... has catastrophic implications on all the issues we care about: It is bad for humans, for animals, for the planet, and it is bad for investment ... factory farming for investors is a hidden risk in plain sight,” Mr. Coller said.