Swedish pension funds AP2, AP3 and AP4, and 37 other institutional investors representing a combined $1.4 trillion in assets called on Kraft Heinz, Nestle, General Mills, Wal-Mart Stores, Costco Wholesale, Unilever and 10 other companies to shift more to plant-based proteins from animal sources to reduce investment risk from environmental and social damage.
The investors sent letters Monday to chairmen of the boards of each of the companies urging them to identify their plans to respond to risk of farm-animal production and ask them to disclose strategies to diversify into other protein sources and report on progress toward goals, said Elliot Frankel, coalition spokesman.
The engagement initiative was unveiled Monday in a joint news release from Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return Initiative and ShareAction, the groups that are coordinating the investor coalition.
“The call for protein diversity and an emphasis on promoting the availability and affordability of plant-based proteins is not a request for abstention from animal products, but rather the development of sustainable supply chains that do not rely on a single protein source,” said a joint FAIRR and ShareAction report released as part of the engagement effort.
Aside from the 310 billion kronor ($36.2 billion) Stockholm-based AP4, the 308 billion kronor Gothenburg-based AP2 and 304 billion kronor Stockholm-based AP3, investors in the coalition include Robeco Asset Management, Dana Investor Advisors, Impax Asset Management, Boston Common Asset Management and Walden Asset Management.
Other companies targeted are Mondelez International, Royal Ahold-Delhaize, Kroger, Marks & Spencer Group, Wm Morrison Supermarkets, Ocado Group, J. Sainsbury, Tesco, Whole Foods Market and The Co-Operative Group.
FAIRR is a network of investors focused on livestock and other farm production risks. ShareAction is a shareholder activist group focused on corporate environmental, social and governance issues.
The report is available at the FAIRR website.