Delivering on our commitment to sustainability and stewardship

Delivering on our commitment to sustainability and stewardship

Our commitment to transparency

In January we committed to providing our stakeholders and clients more clarity and insight into our investment stewardship practices.

Since then, we've taken action to deliver on these commitments, with increased transparency of our stewardship approach and new and enhanced reporting on our engagement and voting actions.

Our approach to sustainability with stewardship

While we've been speaking with companies for years on sustainability issues, this year we've intensified our focus and dialogue with companies facing material climate- and sustainability-related risks.

We're focusing our efforts on companies and sectors where climate change and other sustainability factors pose the greatest risk to our clients' investments and working to create long-term value for shareholders.

Read our special report to learn more about our approach to sustainability.

Executive summary

Full report

How do companies hold others accountable on sustainability?
On this episode of The Bid podcast, Sandy Boss, Global Head of Investment Stewardship, discusses how today's market environment has shifted company behavior and our approach to investment stewardship.
Listen here Listen here
How do companies hold others accountable on sustainability?

Increased transparency

Engagements and voting are two of our core responsibilities as a fiduciary to our clients. To increase the transparency of our stewardship activities, we are:

Quarterly vote disclosures
Quarterly vote disclosures
Publishing quarterly voting disclosures
Vote bulletins
Vote bulletins
Explaining our voting decisions for specific votes promptly through vote bulletins
Engagement with clients
Global engagement summary
Publishing quarterly engagement activity with topic-level detail

Q1 engagements at a glance

We engaged with 688 companies across a range of E, S and G topics detailed in our Q1 global engagement summary. Our engagements included, but were not limited to, the following top topics:

Governance: Board composition and effectiveness discussed 416 times, corporate strategy discussed 413 times, executive compensation discussed 281 times.

Environmental: Climate risk management discussed 343 times, operational sustainability discussed 297 times.

Social: Human capital management discussed 208 times.

Holding directors accountable

We believe holding directors accountable is one of the most effective ways to encourage change at a company. Given the groundwork already laid through past engagements and the growing investment risks surrounding sustainability, we will be increasingly disposed to vote against the re-election of directors when companies have not made sufficient progress.

Learn more

Refreshing our engagement priorities

Each year, we prioritise our work around engagement themes that we believe will encourage sound governance practices and deliver the best long-term financial performance for our clients. We are providing additional transparency this year by mapping our Engagement Priorities to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

SDGs
SDGs
We believe there is a strong alignment between many of the topics we discuss with companies and aspects of those SDGs in which the private sector has a role to play.
Key performance indicators
Key performance indicators
We are incorporating key performance indicators to each Engagement Priority as measures to hold boards accountable.

Encouraging SASB and TCFD aligned reporting

We are intensifying our focus and engagement with companies on sustainability-related issues and proactively promoting effective disclosures of climate-related risks. During our engagements, we advocate for disclosures aligned with the reporting frameworks developed by the Task Force on Climate related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and are already seeing results. 

Learn more

More transparency on voting

Voting is one of our core responsibilities as a fiduciary to our clients. To increase the transparency of our voting activities, we are:

Engaging with Climate Action 100+

BlackRock joined Climate Action 100+, an investor-led initiative that aims to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take adequate action on climate change. This was a natural evolution of our stewardship efforts and engagement on climate issues.

We view the world through our clients’ eyes
Investment Stewardship is an essential component of our fiduciary responsibility. To read more about our Stewardship practices, please visit our global website.
Global investment stewardship Global investment stewardship
We view the world through our clients’ eyes