Global indexer Vanguard has released the results of its proxy voting for 2016-17, revealing it voted against oil and gas giant Exxon on climate change reporting.
US financial services firm Vanguard, which manages $5.8 trillion on behalf of its investors, released its Investment Stewardship 2017 report on Friday, which included the details of 171,000 individual votes on behalf of its funds.
One of the most notable votes was in support of an Exxon Mobil shareholder resolution requiring the oil and gas giant to report on its climate change policies – a proposal that management opposed.
Vanguard's support was crucial in the climate change requirements passing at Exxon Mobil's annual general meeting earlier in the year.
In a letter to all public companies on Friday, Vanguard global chief executive Bill McNabb flagged climate change as one of the key governance issues the company will be pursuing in the future – along with gender diversity, governance, misaligned compensation practices and unequal shareholder voting rights.
"Our evolving position on climate risk, much like our stance on gender diversity, is based on the economic bottom line for Vanguard investors," Mr McNabb said.
"As significant long-term owners of many companies in industries vulnerable to climate risk, Vanguard investors have substantial value at stake."
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