25% of shareholders supported more transparent climate-related disclosures and greater action by issuers
Average support for climate-related shareholder resolutions increased from 13.2% in 2019 to 25.3% in 2020. One resolution even achieved majority support, a feat previously unseen in Australia.
Previously, institutional investors, including index funds, have used engagement with boards and management to stress the importance of ESG disclosure and performance, but where they are witnessing inadequate action, they are increasingly willing to vote in support of shareholder resolutions or against director re-elections.
Shareholders want assurance that issuers are adequately managing their ESG risks, as they can be material to positive long-term shareholder returns and sustainability. Issuers therefore need to understand the expectations of their shareholders around ESG and build a strategy towards better alignment.