We expect the companies in which we invest to be good corporate citizens – and a recent report highlights how we are using our influence to encourage a responsible approach to issues around climate change.

We maintain constructive relationships with companies in which we invest, to understand how they are operating – which can also mean making known if we believe they are acting inappropriately. This includes casting our votes at shareholder meetings in line with our investment views. During 2018, for example, we voted at 4,875 shareholder meetings – and in some cases spoke publicly about areas of concern.

We’ve now been named as one of the companies with the highest rates of voting against director candidates in the oil and gas and utility industries, in the report 'Climate in the Boardroom: How Asset Manager Voting Shaped Corporate Climate Action in 2019'. The report reviews the contributions of the world’s 25 largest asset managers to hold large US energy and utility companies accountable to combat climate change, and the risks it poses to long-term shareholders and other stakeholders.

Andrew Mason, Senior ESG Manager at Standard Life Aberdeen, said:

“When dealing with votes linked to climate change we consider what is best for our clients, the overall success of the companies we invest in and how to best move to a low carbon economy. The frequency and proficiency of climate-related resolutions has continued to increase, a trend that we welcome. Our voting decisions are an integral part of our investment strategy and a nuanced analysis is applied before reaching conclusion.”

The report has been published by Majority Action – a non-profit organisation that empowers shareholders to hold corporations accountable to high standards of corporate governance, social responsibility, and long-term value creation.

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