ESG Issues - Australia

Goals

To obtain a publication ready article of 300-500 words on the top ESG factors/issues affecting Australian companies. The identified top 10 ESG issues that are affecting Australian companies include climate change, community trust in banking, ethics in social media investment, access to medicine, investing for impact, palm oil and deforestation, the war on plastic, modern slavery and supply chains, child labor in cocoa, and antibiotics in our food supply.

Early Findings

Climate Change

  • According to the National Geographic, climate change is a long-term and sustained shift in global or regional climate patterns.
  • Climate change is used to specifically refer to the rise in global temperatures from the mid 20th century to present.
  • An example of the effects of climate change is the bushfires that were witnessed in Australia in 2020.
  • The importance of the ESG issue of climate change is driven by the Paris Agreement, which was signed in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2016.
  • In Australia, the issue's importance is driven by the federal governments which already "debated, proposed and rejected an emissions trading scheme, a carbon pollution reduction scheme and a carbon price."
  • Some of the companies that are actively putting policies in place to address the issue and advocating for the issue in Australia formed the Australian Climate Roundtable.
  • The members of the Australian Climate Roundtable include Australian Aluminium Council, Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Council of Social Service, Australian Council of Trade Unions, Australian Energy Council, Australian Industry Group, Business Council of Australia, Investor Group on Climate Change, National Farmers’ Federation, and WWF Australia.

Proposed next steps:

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