On 9 December 2020, Alex Čaičics, Head of ESG Communications at Polyus, took part in an online panel discussion on ESG and Investor Relations hosted by IHS Markit as part of an IR conference by Citi.
The panel, Business as Unusual: Investor Relations best practice and ESG Trends 2020, was hosted by Andreas Posavac from IHS Markit, and also featured Yasmine Svan from Legal & General Investment Management Limited.
During the panel, Alex highlighted the following key points and trends:
- Investors have become a major target audience for sustainability-related and ESG-related communications. While in the past sustainability has formed an element of regulatory compliance, stakeholder relations, and social license to operate, sustainability now also forms a key element of a company’s investment case. In today’s world, there is a much higher degree of scrutiny and attention towards sustainability issues. This dictates new requirements, both in terms of transparency and disclosure, and in terms of additional priorities as to the overall corporate strategy.
- Investors typically approach companies with pressing current issues in mind, which usually follow significant ESG-related industry news. In 2019, following a tragic incident in Brazil, it was tailings facilities safety; in 2020, the focal topics were COVID response, climate change and indigenous rights.
- As with all such communications, it is important to manage expectations, and to help provide a realistic picture. Proactivity is key, and in an ideal world corporates should share information before investors request it; in the case of Polyus, the company created a Sustainability Blog to publish ESG-related company disclosures.
Alex Čaičics, Head of ESG Communications at Polyus, commented:
I was very pleased to take part in the panel discussion, which addressed a number of significant IR issues, and would like to thank Citi and IHS Markit for facilitating this important dialogue. At Polyus, we take our ESG communications very seriously, and we are committed to increasing our disclosure and ensuring that all stakeholders are able to access all material information with ease.