For institutional investors who hold a significant portion of their assets in passively managed portfolios that track indexes, engaging with portfolio companies on sustainability issues is an essential part of investors’ strategies for managing the risks and maximizing opportunities around climate change, water scarcity and other key sustainability issues.
INCR members representing more than $1 trillion in assets sent letters to the CEOs of companies in Russell 1000 index encouraging them to develop sustainable business strategies and disclose environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks stemming from climate change, resource constraints, growing population pressures and other global sustainability challenges.
Ceres staff experts help investors focus on key industry sectors, including Electric Power, Insurance, Oil and Gas, Transportation and key investment risk and opportunities related to water. Interested INCR members are also invited to join the Ceres Coalition, a group of investors and environmental, social and public interest groups that participate in multi-stakeholder dialogues to help companies on sustainable strategies, disclosure and bottom-line performance.
Another avenue for engaging with corporations on key sustainability issues is through the filing of shareholder resolutions and proxy voting INCR members coordinate dialogues and file dozens of climate and sustainability related shareholder resolutions every proxy season Many of these resolutions lead to successfully negotiated withdrawals and agreements between the investors and the companies.
Sustainability resolutions filed by INCR members are coordinated and tracked by Ceres and are publicly available via the.
|“Proxy voting is the sleeping giant of the investment world. It's an enormously powerful tool if used thoughtfully to shape corporate behavior.”
-Julie Fox Gorte, senior vice president for sustainable investing at PaxWorld Management (INCR Member)
Shareholder Proxy Advocacy
A shareholder resolution from INCR member Calvert Asset Management and the ensuing dialogue with homebuilding company KB Homes led the company to improve the energy efficiency performance of its homes, including developing a first-of-its-kind energy label that informs homebuyers of the estimated monthly energy cost of new homes.
For more information
To learn more about corporate sustainability performance, download The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability, which lays out key sustainability performance indicators for operations, supply chain, transportation, products & services and employees.