We review our engagement plan every year to ensure it is up to date and reflects client priorities. For 2023, we will continue our focus on the most material drivers of long-term value, with a focus on four priority themes:
Climate change action: The current energy trilemma – an overlap of accelerating climate change, challenges for energy security, and rising costs and inequality in access to energy – is a potential risk to climate action in the short-term. In the medium term, however, the trilemma may help to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuel resources. The emphasis of our engagement remains focused on companies having a strategy and greenhouse reduction targets aligned to the Paris Agreement, seeking to limit climate change to 1.5°C.
Human and labour rights: As we continue to engage on human and labour rights, we expect companies to acknowledge the likelihood that human rights impacts may be present within operations and supply chains, and demonstrate appropriate board- and executive-level governance. Our engagement focuses on aspects including protection of indigenous and community rights, protection of digital rights in the virtual world and promotion of the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights within corporations.
Human capital: In the wake of the ‘great resignation’, increased interest in amplifying worker voice through collective bargaining, and the cost of living crisis, we are intensifying engagement on providing fair wages and benefits so all can afford a decent living standard. Furthermore, we will continue our focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and representation, and challenge companies to expand their consideration of diversity metrics to include representation and equity for the LGBTQ+ community and differently-abled.
Board effectiveness: In 2023, to enhance the quality of board performance and corporate decision-making, we will focus on ensuring that boards improve ethnic diversity that at least match the recent progress on gender diversity, with the goal to achieve representation reflective of the diversity of the stakeholders it aspires to serve. We will also ask boards to demonstrate lessons learned post-pandemic.
In addition to the above priority themes, we will continue engagement on three topics in 2023 and beyond: biodiversity, digital rights and tax.