Shareholders Say on Climate
Harlan Tufford, Florian Sommer and David Muirhead
Feb 15, 2023
Many high-profile companies submitted their climate strategy or climate-action report for an advisory, management-sponsored shareholder vote for the first time in 2021 or 2022. All of these say-on-climate proposals were approved, but support varied significantly between companies. What might we see during the 2023 proxy season?
In this exhibit, the scatter plot shows all say-on-climate votes held in 2021 and 2022 for companies in MSCI ESG Ratings’ coverage. The x-axis positions company votes by market capitalization of the respective company and the y-axis shows the level of shareholder support for the proposal. The color of each dot indicates the alignment of the firm’s emissions trajectory with global temperature targets, according to MSCI’s Implied Temperature Rise.
The bar chart shows how support varied between 2021 and 2022 for the 10 companies that had proposals in both years. Our analysis may help investors screen for companies with previous or upcoming say-on-climate votes by their emissions trajectories, ownership structure and other relevant characteristics going into the 2023 proxy season.
How to interact with this plot: Hover over or click on the dots to learn more about the company and its approach to say-on-climate votes and click anywhere on the graph to deselect. Click on a proposal from an annual general meeting (AGM) to highlight the company in both charts. Filter the proposals by anticipated votes in 2023, companies’ home market, AGM year, say-on-climate vote frequency, Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS®)1 sector, ownership category or MSCI’s Implied Temperature Rise using the drop-down menus at the bottom.
Universe comprises companies in MSCI ESG Ratings’ coverage that have held management-sponsored say-on-climate votes. Implied Temperature Rise estimates the increase in average temperatures this century that would occur if the economy over- or undershot the global carbon budget by the same amount as the company or portfolio in question. It is a forward-looking metric, expressed in degrees Celsius. Shareholder support for the AGM proposal means the percentage of votes in favor accounting for votes against and votes withheld/abstained.
Source: MSCI ESG Research and company disclosures. Data as of November 2022.
1GICS is the global industry classification standard jointly developed by MSCI and S&P Global Market Intelligence.