Axa Investment Managers is upping the pressure on companies to take meaningful action on climate, biodiversity and social issues.
The investment manager is rolling out a strengthened voting policy and a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ escalation approach to those companies lagging behind on climate change, supplementing the extended oil and gas policy and tougher biodiversity engagement programme introduced in 2021.
According to its latest Stewardship Report, in 2021 the business engaged with 245 entities in 29 countries on the issues it considers most pressing for the planet as well as investors.
Climate change was AXA IM’s largest area of engagement (33%), but it also saw an increase in the proportion of corporate governance-related engagements (21%). Human capital (20%) and resource and ecosystems (14%) were also major focuses of engagement.
Marco Morelli, executive chairman at AXA IM, said: “Stewardship is one of the main tools we have to effect change and engagement is at the forefront of our approach as a leading responsible investor. 2021 was a pivotal year during which we engaged meaningfully with hundreds of companies on a range of critical issues but also introduced tougher policies designed to set clear red lines for issuers acting too slowly or without credible plans to achieve net zero by 2050.
“Already this year in 2022, we have continued this approach with our new voting policy which encourages boards to adopt clear ESG commitments and targets and the introduction of our ‘three strikes and you’re out’ escalation policy for climate laggards.”