Aviva Investors voted in favour of 98 per cent of the most significant climate and social shareholder proposals tracked by ShareAction and increased its resolution votes by 16 per cent.
Publishing its Annual Responsible Investment Review today, the asset manager reported increases in its voting and engagement activity for 2020, voted on 72,025 resolutions at 6,457 shareholder meetings globally in 2020, a 16 per cent increase in resolutions voted on and 20 per cent increase in meetings from 2019. Aviva
Remuneration was the issue most actively opposed, Aviva Investors voted against 43 per cent of 7,680 remuneration resolutions. This was followed by director elections (32 per cent), anti-takeover measures (31 per cent) and auditors (22 per cent).
Aviva Investors was ranked second by ShareAction for its environmental voting track record and achieved an A+ rating in the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment scorecard.
Through bilateral and collaborative company engagements, the exercising of voting rights, filing shareholder resolutions, and dialogue with regulators, Aviva Investors achieved 90 successful engagement outcomes. These included a call for social media platforms to strengthen controls against objectionable content and holding the Brazilian government to account over deforestation in the Amazon.
Aviva Investors achieved targeted engagement with over 1,500 companies and was involved in a further 1,900 corporate interactions through collaborative initiatives and written communications.
Aviva Investors originated £189m of sustainable loans, as part of its commitment to originate £1bn of climate transition-focused loans by 2025. Since 2015, the company has also made £5bn of investments in solar, wind, energy centres and energy from waste. In 2020, Aviva Investors also invested £172m in social housing.
It is targeting four main areas of market reform, including climate change, biodiversity, antimicrobial resistance and diversity.
Aviva Investors CEO Mark Versey says: “History may look back on 2020 as a turning point for environmental, social and governance issues. The pandemic has proven to be a giant ESG stress test for the global economy and shown us that today’s challenges will not respect national borders. Investors have a vital role to play in pushing for change on society’s biggest issues, from climate change to diversity, environmental degradation to human rights. We are proud to have long been at the forefront of investor action on these issues.”