Boldly growing the good: our Q1 2021 Stewardship Report

Discover how we advanced our ESG agenda in Q1 2021, through engagement, voting and thought leadership.
May 2021

At BMO GAM, we invest with a purpose – to boldly grow the good. We aim to drive positive change by engaging companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and through thoughtful voting. Our quarterly stewardship report outlines our latest engagement and voting activity, measuring our impact through our alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Our Q1 2021 engagement highlights

  • 353 companies engaged
  • 103 instances of positive change (milestones) achieved
  • 36 countries covered

Net zero firmly enters the mainstream

In the past 12 months, global net-zero commitments doubled and commitments by companies more than tripled signalling a remarkable embrace of the concept by policymakers and businesses. While net-zero pledges are critically important steps to combat climate change, we acknowledge that much more is needed.
Recent PwC analysis shows only c.8% of the world’s largest companies represented by the Global Fortune 500 have committed to become net zero as of February 2021. Moreover, surveys indicate that just 10% of net-zero companies have set interim science-based emissions targets. In its inaugural Net-Zero Company Benchmark, which assesses the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters on their net-zero transition progress, the Climate Action 100+ initiative found that none of the focus companies that have announced net-zero ambitions have fully disclosed strategies to get there. Likewise, none have committed to aligning future capital expenditure with the goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C.
There is an urgent need for greater corporate action and higher ambition in accelerating the net-zero economy. We have committed to help meet this need through company and public policy engagement. This quarter, we have had discussions with the likes of Rio Tinto, BHP, Shell, Total and Stellantis on the details underpinning their climate pledges to ensure commitments will contribute to meaningful change. We have also closely followed the debate sparked by the ‘Say-on-Climate’ campaign and look forward to reviewing resolutions put forward by companies.
Risk warnings
The value of investments and any income derived from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the original amount invested.
The information, opinions, estimates or forecasts contained in this document were obtained from sources reasonably believed to be reliable and are subject to change at any time.
Views and opinions have been arrived at by BMO Global Asset Management and should not be considered to be a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any companies that may be mentioned.

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