Proxy voting is a powerful tool for shareholders to steer corporate agendas towards sustainability-focused decision making. Despite the increased attention to the integration of sustainability in investment solutions, asset managers generally vote against environmental and social proposals. This trend is more pronounced among large and passive players.
The COVID-19 global health and economic crisis has highlighted the need for leadership and capital to be urgently targeted towards the vulnerabilities in the global economy. The issues of sustainability have never been more important and it’s a critical time for investors to be collaborating for better corporate behaviours and economic outcomes.
According to the IMF, more than $20 trillion is needed over the next 20 years to be invested in climate change and other sustainable development goals. But countries can not achieve this on their own. Governments need to make it easier for business to finance and invest in sustainable development projects, the private sector needs to mobilise for long-term investment, and new solutions for financing the SDGs must be created.
This conference was an urgent call to action for all investors to influence investee companies to change their focus and put people before profits to create a more sustainable economy, and to wake up to the crucial role they play in ensuring a sustainable recovery.
Through case studies of investors and corporate collaboration, investors heard how their peers have been engaging for change on issues relating to the environment, labour practices and better long-term outcomes. The conference addressed the social and economic consequences of the coronavirus and outlined the role that investors can play in the path to a sustainable economy.