We are excited to present our second annual Engagement Impact Report, Achieving Impact in Global Equities, where we detail the outcomes of our global engagement efforts in 2017 – highlighting 60 measurable impacts and improvements in corporate policies, processes, or products.
Reflecting on our long-term engagement work, in 2017 we sought to:
- Advance our clients’ social and financial objectives through Boston Common’s Active, Engaged Ownership framework
- Create ESG momentum by urging portfolio companies to improve their products, processes and policies
- Empower and embolden long-term thinking by corporate managements
- Encourage companies to create solutions to the SDG challenges they are uniquely positioned to address
This year, we also shine a spotlight on our alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which serve as a blueprint toward a more sustainable and inclusive future. The 17 goals address society’s challenges globally, many of which are embedded within our ESG integration investment process and engagement priorities – inequality, climate action, environmental justice, peace, and international collaboration among them. We also publicly announced our support for the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations and through the PRI Montreal Pledge we measure and report on our portfolio exposures and carbon footprint. Across all strategies, our portfolios produce significantly fewer emissions than their respective benchmarks. We have also incorporated the TCFD recommendations in our flagship multi-year engagement programs with banks globally and cross-sectorial engagement on Eco-Efficiency themes.
The engagement impacts of 2017 highlighted in this report are the result of our multi-year approach to improving targeted companies’ fundamentals and contributing to shared value – recognizing that a company’s long-term success and its value to society are inextricably linked. We are delighted to share with you these outcomes of our 2017 Active Ownership work, demonstrating meaningful Impact in the public equities space.
At the same time, we recognize that engaging companies to improve upon their products, policies, and procedures is a long-term process, and engagement success today paves the way for deeper progress in the future.
Even as we go to press with this report, Verizon has cut its ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), in part due to our multi-year engagement, effectively preventing the organization from using corporate assets to lobby for public policy objectives that could pose reputational risks. It’s a step in the right direction for Verizon, yet we continue to press forward in our engagement asks as active, long-term shareowners, urging the company to take the next crucial step by adopting comprehensive lobbying disclosure.
We look forward to your feedback and partnership in the pursuit of financial return and social change.