Thought Leadership

Workplace Racial Equity Progress Update

As 2020 draws to a close, we are taking stock of the impact of our shareowner engagement efforts over the course of this challenging year, and preparing our next steps for 2021. During most of 2020, our engagement priorities have focused heavily on the impacts of COVID-19 across sectors and the call to address systemic racism, especially with US companies and those with a significant US footprint. We have done this through targeted engagement, integrating this issue into our active company dialogues and our initial outreach with new holdings as part of our Workplace Racial Equity Initiative.   Despite widespread [...]

December 17, 2020|Categories: Thought Leadership|

NEW REPORT: Advocating for a More Sustainable, Equitable, and Transparent World

Fourth Annual Impact Report Boston Common’s Annual Impact Report, comes at a challenging time for investors, companies, and society at large. The COVID-19 crisis and social unrest following the murders of George Floyd and other unarmed Black people in the US have underlined the necessity for companies to serve all stakeholders. COVID-19 has changed the lens through which we evaluate and act, but it has not altered our engagement priorities - advancing our clients’ social and financial objectives by empowering portfolio companies to create future-prepared and future-oriented products, processes, and policies.   Download the Report   Reflecting on our long-term [...]

August 4, 2020|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Honoring Juneteenth: Boston Common’s Unwavering Commitment to Anti-racism

By Geeta Aiyer “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced” – James Baldwin Today, as we observe Juneteenth, we heed James Baldwin’s call. We face the uncomfortable truths of institutional racism and the unacceptable complicity of our financial system. The killing of George Floyd, among the most recent names infamously added to a tragically long list, has caused us all to reckon with our own failure to do enough to fight racism, police brutality, and systemic injustice. It would be easy to limit our efforts to the reform and redesign [...]

June 18, 2020|Categories: Thought Leadership|

2020 Proxy Season

As lead proponent, Boston Common is delighted that it has come to an agreement with American Water Works to withdraw its 2020 proxy season lobbying disclosure resolution. This concludes Boston Common’s 2020 proxy voting season. “We are pleased to have successfully withdrawn all our 2020 proxy season resolutions where we have played a lead role," states Lauren Compere, Managing Director of Shareholder Engagement at Boston Common. 2020 Resolutions Filed Boston Common was the lead filer on the following resolutions, and all were successfully withdrawn this proxy season. Issue Area Company Lobbying Disclosure American Water Works, Oracle Board Diversity Carlisle Companies Climate Change [...]

March 20, 2020|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Investment, Innovation, and Respect

March 3, 2020 Written by: Steven Heim, Managing Director at Boston Common and Jennifer Astone, Principal at Integrated Capital Investing Indigenous communities, foundations and entrepreneurs have launched creative structures and approaches to access financial capital, link to markets and promote the well-being of their communities, traditions and lands. They have been spurred on by the unequal burdens of climate change, the rich knowledge, traditions and land base of Indigenous Peoples, and persistent wealth inequalities. All of these investments are founded on fostering long-term partnerships in which money takes a backseat to economic justice and engaged participation in setting the terms [...]

March 3, 2020|Categories: Thought Leadership|

JPMorgan’s New Climate Commitments

Boston Common Asset Management welcomes JPMorgan’s new climate commitments: expanded lending restrictions to coal mining and the coal-fired power sector, and a prohibition on financing new oil and gas development in the Arctic.  We are pleased to see the additional commitment to facilitate $200 billion of financing support in 2020, for climate action and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.  At the same time, we call on the Bank, whom we have engaged for over a decade on climate risk, to go further.  Specifically we hope to see the bank adopt a clear strategy for decarbonizing its balance sheet, including clear [...]

February 25, 2020|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Unilever Sets a Higher Bar to Help Fight Childhood Obesity

By Lauren Compere, Managing Director and Director of Shareholder Engagement at Boston Common Asset Management Investor members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) have long seen childhood obesity as a moral issue, a financial issue, and – given the disproportionate impact of the epidemic on low-income communities and communities of color – an issue of social justice. For this reason, we welcome Unilever’s adoption earlier this week of its Principles on Responsible Food and Beverage Marketing to Children to help fight childhood obesity, a revised iteration of earlier guidelines that is based on the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) framework [...]

February 24, 2020|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Boston Common Asset Management Joins PCAF

We are excited to announce that we have joined the Platform for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), a global industry-led initiative for financial institutions to measure and disclose the greenhouse gas emissions of their investments. We are joining over 50 financial institutions from around the world to address climate change, decarbonize our economy, and align with the Paris Climate Agreement. Boston Common is the first asset manager in North America to join PCAF. As part of this commitment, we will annually disclosure our portfolio-level carbon footprint. PCAF is a collaborative platform that allows us to learn from other members on best [...]

February 18, 2020|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Protecting Shareowner Rights – SEC Spotlight

Preservation of our shareholder rights in the US has been a constant struggle under the current Administration. That is why we have joined other investors to form the Shareholder Rights Group and have stepped up our public policy engagement efforts. Since November, Boston Common has been part of key investor groups defending our existing shareholder rights with the SEC. We advocated for keeping the existing shareholder proposal process, as changing it would harm the interest of investors and stifle key progress made from leveraging the shareholder proposal process over the past 30 years. We have co-signed key letters submitted by [...]

January 13, 2020|Categories: Thought Leadership|

Banking on a Low-Carbon Future: Finance in a Time of Climate Crisis

BANKING SECTOR FAILING TO RESPOND TO CLIMATE EMERGENCY Green banking initiatives have not changed lending and investment practices The past five years have seen the creation of financial industry initiatives on sustainability, including the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), the Platform for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) and many others Yet financing for fossil fuels continues to rise each year, totaling $1.9 trillion from 2016-2018 Only 60% of banks have developed exclusion or restriction policies for high-carbon sectors and just 16% of banks exclude clients involved in deforestation Just 50% of banks engage high-carbon clients [...]

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