When an Ask gets full support, a Stake Champion takes the issues directly to company management. What makes them special?
Champions are experienced at shareholder engagement, with a successful track record.

Walden Asset Management


About

Walden began managing sustainable, responsible, and impact (SRI) portfolios in 1975, the first institutional investment manager to do so. Walden continues to lead the field by encouraging companies to set science-based GHG reduction goals, adopt better corporate policies that foster a more inclusive workplace environment, and disclose their political and lobbying spending (among other requests).

http://waldenassetmgmt.com

By the Numbers

Assets under Management 8.4 billion
Year Founded 1987
Memberships in Impact Organizations 17
Location Boston
Focus Areas Climate Change, Gender Inequity, Money in Politics

People


Timothy Smith 45 years experience

Tim is the Director of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Shareowner Engagement, and leads Walden’s ongoing shareholder engagement program to promote greater corporate leadership on ESG issues. This includes company dialogues, shareholder proposals, proxy voting, and public policy advocacy. Tim served as Executive Director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) for 24 years. ICCR has been a primary player in the corporate responsibility movement and social investment community since the early 1970s.

In 2018, Tim was named as one of the “20 Most Influential People in ESG Investing” by Barron’s. Tim previously served as Chair of US SIF, the sustainable, responsible and impact investing industry trade group, for five years, and presently serves as Chair of its Public Policy Committee. Tim earned a BA from the University of Toronto and Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary.

Highlights

Walden is an active shareholder advocate on behalf of its clients. As reported in their Annual Impact Report, in 2017 Walden engaged 148 companies on a number of ESG issues, and observed demonstrated improvement in 51 companies – achieving an “impact rate” of 34%. Walden considers engagement to be successful when progress is made towards: better corporate policies, more sustainable business practices, and increased transparency.

In 2017 Walden and other investors made headlines by successfully filing resolutions with several large asset managers. Subsequent to the withdrawal of resolutions at BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase, and Vanguard, these asset managers announced important changes to their approach to proxy voting and to engagement with companies, particularly on the topics of climate change and board diversity. This was one of numerous factors that led to a majority vote in support of a resolution at ExxonMobil, after which the company agreed to disclose the potential impact on its operations and the value of its assets of regulations and technology to address climate change.

Moving Corporations Towards Meaningful Climate Action

The Trump Administration dramatically shifted federal policy on climate change in 2017 with its announcement of the U.S. withdrawal from the global Paris climate agreement and the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, the foundation of the former Obama Administration’s efforts to curb U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These actions and others underscore the importance of investor engagement to encourage companies to be a leading force for aggressive action to mitigate the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.

We encourage companies to adopt science-based GHG goals, entailing global reduction of GHG emissions by 55% by 2050 and reaching net zero emissions between 2050 and 2100.

Walden, both individually in company dialogues and as the leader of a collaborative initiative with ICCR that advocated science-based GHG goals, is pleased to report substantial progress as a number of portfolio companies committed to new goals in 2017:

American Express—reduce absolute GHG emissions 31% and 85% by 2021 and 2040, respectively, from 2011 levels

ConocoPhillips—reduce GHG emissions intensity (per unit of output) 5-15% by 2030 from a 2017 baseline

Hubbell—increase energy efficiency 6% by 2020 relative to the 2016 level

Merck—reduce absolute GHG emissions 40% by 2025 from a 2015 baseline (and procuring 50% or greater of purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and 100% by 2040)

Oracle—reduce absolute GHG emissions 20% by 2020 and 65% by 2050 from the 2015 level

PNC Financial Services—reduce absolute GHG emissions 75% by 2035 from a 2009 baseline (including a 50% renewable energy goal)

Asks In Action

AT&T should be more transparent about its lobbying expenditures

IBM should be more transparent about its lobbying expenditures

UPS should be more transparent about its lobbying expenditures

Emerson Electric should set GHG reduction targets in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement

Our engagement with McDonalds leadership over the years has led to this successful result. In 2018, McDonalds agreed to set the GHG reduction ...