25 Companies Around the World Consulted their Shareholders on their Climate Change Action Plan

TotalEnergies, Vinci, Royal Dutch Shell, HSBC, S&P Global, Moody's asked investors for their opinion on their climate strategy. Companies in industrial sectors and banks are taking the lead. 06 August 2021 25 Companies Around the World Consulted their Shareholders on their Climate Change Action Plan

Laurence Boisseau of Les Echos covered SquareWell’s latest investor-focused insight looking at the emergence of “Say on Climate” votes globally. As pointed out in the article, in October 2020, the Spanish airport operator, Aena, became the first company to afford its shareholders to vote on its action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, through so-called “Say On Climate” proposal. Aena had given in to pressure from one of its shareholders, the British hedge fund TCI, founded by billionaire Christopher Hohn.

Since then, 25 companies around the world have already consulted their shareholders on their climate action plan, according to a study carried out by Squarewell. Nine other companies, including LafargeHolcim, Barclays and Anglo American, have already indicated that they would also provide such a vote, either before the end of the year or at the 2022 AGMs. Companies in the industrial and financial sectors (mainly banks) lead the trend.

At the end of July, 17 companies had adopted these resolutions on their own initiative, which they adapted to their constraints without necessarily following the requests formulated by the initiators of the “Say on Climate” concept. Thus, the content but also the requirements of the resolutions submitted to a vote vary significantly from one company to another, points out Squarewell.

Management-backed proposals garnered over 90% support on average. The vote at the Shell AGM was a little less consensual (89%), but shareholders also had to vote in parallel on a more ambitious resolution, carried by the environmental organization Follow This. Conversely, shareholder proposals requesting an annual vote were less successful. At H&M, for example, was opposed by 97% of shareholders.

The full article can be accessed here.


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