Sustainability: who walks the talk?

We examine the proxy voting patterns of 16 Canadian asset managers and find that some are much more likely to support climate-related shareholder initiatives than others

Ruth Saldanha 20 August, 2019 | 12:52PM Jackie Cook

For Earth Day, we examined how 16 Canadian asset managers voted in the 2018 proxy season on climate-related shareholder resolutions. We found that for the period spanning July 2017 to June 2018, BMO Global Asset Management, Desjardins Global Asset Management, HSBC Global Asset Management Canada and TD Asset Management consistently voted in favour of transparency on issues like greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, environmental impact and board oversight of climate risk. We found that Dynamic Funds, Franklin Templeton Investments and Invesco were least supportive.

It is important to point out that this research is based on Canadian funds voting mostly on U.S.-companies in the 2018 proxy voting season. Canadian funds’ proxy voting records can be found on asset managers’ websites.

As a starting point, we found that during 2018, 14 shareholder resolutions addressing climate change earned more than 40% shareholder support. These resolutions are listed in the table below.

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Ruth Saldanha

Ruth Saldanha  Ruth Saldanha is Senior Editor at Morningstar.ca