PRI launches proxy voting declaration system
LONDON, 15 March 2017
The PRI is pleased to announce the launch of its proxy vote declaration system. This is a voluntary opportunity for investors to publicly declare how they intend to vote on shareholder resolutions around environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues filed or co-filed by PRI signatories in advance of the upcoming 2017 proxy season.
In recent years, the PRI has received demand from a range of signatories who have requested greater transparency in proxy voting decisions by the investment community. By exercising their voting rights, investors can communicate their concerns to the management of the companies in which they own shares, in addition to raising awareness of a range of ESG risks and opportunities. More disclosure on proxy voting decisions and activities will benefit both companies and ultimately, asset owners interested in aligning third party’s activities with their responsible investment policies and strategies.
Based on the positive experience of other initiatives such as Aiming for A and Carbon Asset Risk and the strong positive feedback when tracking voting intentions on lobbying resolutions last year, the PRI has decided to launch this vote declaration system for all shareholder resolutions filed or co-filed by PRI signatories this year.
By filling out this form, both PRI and non-PRI signatories are agreeing to have their voting intentions made public through the Collaboration Platform* hosted on the PRI website, as well as through the PRI’s weekly Resolution Alerts. This will help PRI members align with Principles 2 and 6 by increasing transparency in proxy voting decisions.
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“The PRI undertook an extensive consultation last year to look at priorities for the next decade and the issue of active ownership and particularly proxy voting practices were high on our signatories’ list,” explained managing director Fiona Reynolds.
“We see the vote declaration system as a way of helping to build good practice and encourage greater transparency about voting activity, and we are certain that investors will find the tool useful in their active ownership activities.”
* The PRI Collaboration Platform is a forum that allows signatories to pool resources, share information and enhance their influence on ESG issues.