As a service provider, we contribute to asset managers and asset owners fulfilling their duties under the UK Stewardship Code through effective and outcomes-driven stewardship. Offering a shared service platform and a dedicated stewardship team, we pool our clients’ assets to increase our influence with companies. This leverage means we can have a more meaningful impact on the issues of most importance to our clients and their beneficiaries.
In our 2021 Stewardship Report, we outline our history, values and purpose, our engagement approach, including highlights of our collaborative engagement activities, stewardship outcomes and impacts, and the policies underpinning what we do. It demonstrates how we contribute to building a global financial system that delivers improved long-term returns for investors, as well as better, more sustainable outcomes for society.
We have worked with over 1,000 companies across the globe to address their key ESG risks, challenges and opportunities. We have also continued to engage with policymakers, regulators and standard-setters to help improve market best practice.
Building on last year’s report, we have provided more information in Principle 2 about the firm-wide approach to diversity, equity and inclusion. In Principle 4, we have expanded our commentary about the systemic and market-wide risks that we monitor and seek to mitigate through our engagements. We have also highlighted our involvement in industry initiatives including our work on biodiversity and antimicrobial resistance, and the outcomes of our collaborative engagements. Examples and case studies are provided throughout to demonstrate how our approach works in practice.
Some of the areas we tackle in depth in this section include our approach to climate change engagements, including our leading work with Climate Action 100+, and our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, helping to address widening social inequalities. We also look back at the 2021 voting season using a systemic risk lens, with a focus on key climate votes and racial equity audit shareholder proposals. Bringing us up to date, we set out our engagement response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Monitoring engagement outcomes is crucial, to ensure that our approach is effective and achieving the desired results. This enables us to demonstrate to our clients that we are maintaining high standards and that stewardship has a tangible impact. We strive to reflect on our efficiency and the outcomes we are delivering in order to identify ways in which we can improve. Throughout the report we highlight the enhancements made to our approach during 2021, as well as the areas identified for further improvement in 2022.
Effective and outcomes-driven stewardship is crucial for the achievement of the pledges made by the investment industry on climate at COP26, and to help tackle many of the social issues that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore. We will continue to engage to support the change needed by the planet, its people and the generations to come.