AXA IM offers path for stewardship that delivers positive outcomes for the environment and society
- In 2019, climate change accounted for over 40% of AXA IM’s total engagement with companies1 .
- 217 issuers engaged, 6,016 general meetings voted at, and 64,439 proposed company resolutions voted on in 20192 .
- Climate change, biodiversity loss, diversity and public health among the key areas for AXA IM’s stewardship team in 2020 and beyond.
AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) today announces the release of its 2019 Active Ownership and Stewardship Report, which asserts that while the past ten years have seen responsible finance take centre stage, the next ten will be the ‘decade of transition’ for several areas, particularly the environment and society.
Matt Christensen, Global Head of Impact Strategy and Responsible Investment at AXA IM, says: “The next decade will be defined by our ability as an investment and corporate community to turn thoughts, ambitions and desires into tangible action to solve global issues. This is how we can help ensure companies continue to create long-term value for shareholders, stakeholders, and society as a whole.”
In light of this, AXA IM will continue in 2020 to drive positive change at the companies in which it invests, focusing its voting power on key themes such as:
- Climate change: AXA IM will continue its active involvement in Climate Action 100+3 by focusing its engagement with companies in industries which have been slower to embrace the TCFD* framework, such as transportation.
- Biodiversity loss: AXA IM plans to intensify its engagements on such topic. By influencing companies to better monitor and disclose their practices linked to biodiversity and species extinction, AXA IM hopes to be able to promote better practices at the companies in which it invests and more widely in the market.
- Diversity: AXA IM will continue to push companies on diversity right across the business and pipeline, while strengthening diversity thresholds in some markets and expanding the number of markets that fall within the scope of its diversity policy.
- Public health: AXA IM will intensify its engagements on the issue of public health including through its position as the sole investor representative on the Access to Medicine Index’s External Review Committee4 . Such engagement is an important way that investors can deliver impact on sustainability issues. AXA IM will also continue its efforts on drug pricing and transparency.
Yo Takatsuki, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Research and Active Ownership at AXA IM, says: “Humanity is facing a fundamental challenge in the 21st Century. How do we secure sustained prosperity for the world economy while striking a blow against the likes of climate change, biodiversity loss, gender inequality and governance failure?
“At AXA IM, we believe investors can play a pivotal role in tackling these challenges and for us, active ownership is about making the most of our rights as an investor to engage companies in productive dialogue that makes a tangible difference. We have a duty to our clients, to our colleagues, and to wider stakeholders in society to monitor and engage with these companies for the entire time that we hold their stocks and bonds to help protect all our long-term interests.
“It is not enough to simply outline our intentions anymore, we must show exactly how we are driving change. Which is why, this year, we have outlined details of the 217 issuers with which we engaged in 2019 and on what topics to ensure we are fully transparent in presenting our engagement efforts.”