Northern Trust

InfluenceMap Score
D+
Performance Band
51%
Organisation Score
51%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Financials
Head​quarters:
Chicago, United States
Brands and Associated Companies:
Northern Trust Asset Management
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Northern Trust appears to have had somewhat limited engagement on sustainable finance policy. While tracking and writing summaries of regulatory efforts on sustainable finance around the globe, Northern Trust’s positions on these efforts are often unclear. Where engagement is visible, Northern Trust appears to have supported some ESG disclosure standards while expressing caution toward actions to incorporate ESG considerations into investor duties.

Northern Trust Asset Management has recognized the systemic risk climate change poses to the financial system, but appears to support investor-led actions to address this risk rather than systemic reform. Northern Trust has stated support for increasing green investments in line with a 2C target and advocated action to achieve net zero by 2050. Northern Trust has stated support for regulatory action on sustainable finance and characterized the EU’s approach to ESG regulation as a “well-designed plan” for other policymakers to follow.

Northern Trust appears to have taken mixed positions on regulated corporate ESG disclosure. In a May 2022 insights video, Northern Trust stated broad support for ESG disclosure regulation and aligning disclosure frameworks with the TCFD. However, in an April 2022 insights paper, Northern Trust appeared not to support the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure rule, emphasizing the cost of compliance with the proposed regulations and questioning the rule’s benefits. In comments to the SEC in June 2022, Northern Trust Asset Management took a mixed position toward the proposed rule, supporting the Scope 3 disclosure requirements and financial impact statement requirements but requesting an extended timeline for implementation and suggesting some companies and funds be exempt from reporting. In comments to the International Sustainability Standards Board in July 2022, Northern Trust Asset Management expressed strong support for the Board’s draft climate disclosure standards which are likely to inform government policy, including endorsing the draft’s Scope 3 disclosure requirements.

Northern Trust has outlined various regulations in the EU, UK, and US regarding fiduciary duty and stewardship, as well as the EU Taxonomy Regulation and Green Bond Standard, but has not taken a clear position on most of these regulations. In comments to the US Department of Labor in 2021, Northern Trust Asset Management asked for specific references to ESG considerations to be removed from rule language governing fiduciaries’ investment duties. In a 2021 insights paper, Northern Trust summarized the efforts of central banks providing supervisory guidance on managing climate risks but did not take a position on specific central bank actions.

Northern Trust has listed policies it is tracking with occasional detail on desired outcome but little information on engagement activities. It has disclosed the primary trade associations to which it belongs but omitted others, with no detail about indirect influence governance.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
58%
 
58%
 
42%
 
42%
 
56%
 
56%
 
37%
 
37%
 
49%
 
49%
 
55%
 
55%
 
56%
 
56%
 
52%
 
52%
 
48%
 
48%
 
42%
 
42%
 
81%
 
81%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.