20 years of investor engagement

We’re celebrating two decades of investor engagement. The decade ahead is vital for securing a sustainable future – join us on the journey.


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All of our investment plans involve a level of risk and the value of your investments can go down as well as up. The level of risk will depend upon the underlying investments that you choose to hold in the plans. You need to be comfortable that you may not get back the original amount invested.

20 years of engagement


companies engaged




instances of positive change recorded in ESG practices

As at 31 Dec 2019

Find out more in our full report

Discover the history of investor engagement

Early investor engagement was a relatively niche activity, largely driven by mission and faith-based investors. A significant obstacle to scaling up these efforts was a lack of common definitions and standards for sustainability. This changed in the late 1980s, with the United Nations founding some of the key institutions and concepts that have guided action on sustainability ever since. With these building blocks in place, the stage was set for the sustainability agenda to enter the mainstream. Discover the journey below: 

Bright building with different flags


Learn how investor engagement began to enter the mainstream


Discover what drove the rapid growth in responsible investment approaches

Landscape presenting polluted beach


Uncover the future of investor engagement

Discover our global influence

Hover over the locations below to discover the instances of positive change – ‘milestones’ – we have achieved through engagement over the past 20 years.

  • Enviromental
  • Social
  • Governance

Discover our global influence

Hover over the locations below to discover the instances of positive change – ‘milestones’ – we have achieved through engagement over the past 20 years.

United States
Facebook Inc

Halted plans to issue non-voting shares, which would have further entrenched the CEO and founder and decrease accountability to minority shareholders.
Shareholders rights – 2017 


Committed to make all packaging recyclable by 2025, and is aiming to make the recycable Heinz Tomato Ketchup plastic bottle fully circular by 2022.
Environmental stewardship – 2019 

Duke Energy Corp

Announced a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with an interm target of 50% cut by 2030.
Climate change – 2019 

Apple Inc

Conducted social audits of all assembly suppliers and published audit results and steps it would take towards corrective action.
Labour standards – 2007 

Citigroup Inc

Significantly reformed its approach to executive compensations to improve alignment between pay and performance and disclosure.
Executive renumeration – 2017 

Nestle SA

Endorsed a business initiative for food security, commiting to working with farmers to increase agricultural productivity and their income.
Food security – 2011 


Set a 2030 target to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions to 30% worldwide.
Diversity – 2020 

Novo Nordisk A/S

Launched a global access to medicines strategy accompanied by a high-level target to treat 40 million people for diabetes by 2020, from 23 million in 2012.
Access to medicines – 2013

ArcelorMittal SA

Improved water risk management by conducting mapping of operational sites against water-scarce areas and reviewing supplier requirements on water stewardship.
Enviromental Stewardship – 2019


Committed to become a net-zero operating company by 2050, including by neutralising its operational emissions and the emissions emitted during the use of its products.
Climate change – 2020

GlaxoSmithKline PLC

Introduced major reforms to global sales and marketing practices aimed at enhancing compilance and business ethics.
Business conduct – 2013

Barclays plc

Launched an independent investigation of the culture of the bank following the Libor manipulation scandal.
Business conduct – 2012

South America
Petroleo Brasileiro SA

Announced a sweeping organisational restructuring, involving the redistribution of activities, reduction in the number of business units, and a review of the decision-making model.
Strategy – 2016

Canon Inc

Implemented major reforms to its corporate governance practices, particularly related to board composition.
Board effectiveness – 2016 

Tokyo Electric

Power Co Ltd
Committed to publish the results of, and implementing remedial actions from, a fundamental safety review of all nuclear and non-nuclear assets after the Fukushima disaster.
? – 2011

Rio Tinto Ltd

Sold its last remaining coal asset and in the process became the first major resource producer to exit the coal business
Climate change – 2018 

Wilmar International Ltd

Developed and published a no-deforestation, no-peat and no-exploitation sustainable palm oil production and sourcing policy.
Enviromental supply chain – 2013

China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd

Implemented a comprehensive product monitoring system following material losses in 2008 linked to distributing tained milk products in China.
Food safety – 2010

China Mobile Ltd

Unveiled a clear strategy and management systems for protecting customer data security and privacy.
Human rights – 2016

South Africa
AngloGold Ashanti Ltd

Implemented an analytical approach to identyfying workplace hazards, as well as controls, outcomes and recovery measures associated with safety incidents at its mines.
Health & safety – 2015

Investor engagement in action

When it comes to engaging companies, our approach varies by company and the ESG issues at hand, ranging from ongoing, constructive dialogue to dedicated site visits. Discover examples of our engagement here.

Our engagement insights

Responsible Investment
People hiking in the mountains
3 min read
April 2022

Principles for carbon offsetting

Many net zero commitments made by companies either implicitly or explicitly rely on carbon ‘offsetting’. We outline our principles on when companies should use carbon offsets and explore our engagement with businesses, especially in high impact sectors.
Global Equities
Woman holding cellphone
8 min read
April 2022

The digitalisation of everything

Our daily lives are becoming increasingly digitalised. Read our perspective on the opportunities and challenges this profound shift presents to businesses and some of the companies well placed to benefit.


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