From company engagement to voting and filing resolutions, investors have an important role in scaling up action at the world’s largest companies.
A tragedy on the horizon - an investor challenge
We are experiencing a perfect storm of crises. The climate and biodiversity crises are deepening, and inequalities have become even more marked since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Companies have a huge impact on the world around us: on our natural environment and on the way we work and live. They can have a positive impact. Or a negative one. It has never been more important for investors to use their shareholder power to hold companies to account - and to use the money at their disposal responsibly.
They must use all of the tools available to them to maximise their impact.
Active ownership is central to responsible investment - and voting is a vital active ownership tool at an investor's disposal. It is a key way for the asset management sector to influence companies on social and environmental issues.
And proxy voting works.
Research from BlackRock - the world's largest asset manager - confirmed that shareholder proposals that received majority support from investors were implemented 94 per cent of the time.
But investors are still not using this powerful tool enough when it comes to environmental and social challenges. We expect more from investors.
Voting expectations 2022
Shareholder resolutions are another powerful tool at an investor's disposal. Filing a resolution at a company allows investors to escalate engagement on a particular issue. It sets out set out clear, detailed asks for companies, and what investors expect from them.
By filing a resolution, an investor ensures an issue is put firming on the agenda for a company. It forces the company to publicly respond to the investors' asks.
Yet our research shows investors are still reluctant to co-file resolutions. We want to see more investors take this important action.
Resolutions to watch in 2023
We've collated a list of key resolutions in 2023 that we believe should be a priority for investors in the 2023 proxy voting season. The list covers a range of important environmental and social issues. It can be used to measure asset manager performance in the upcoming proxy voting season.