- Expanded section on the training offered to team members and an update on our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.
- Focus on our approach to engaging on the cost of living crisis, and our CA100+ activities.
In 2022, a host of geopolitical and macroeconomic factors combined to threaten the fragile recovery from the pandemic. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine created huge disruption in trade, resulting in a surge in fuel and food prices. The rising cost of living was intensified by other issues such as labour and component shortages after the pandemic, soaring inflation and corresponding increases in interest rates, impacting companies, employees, customers and suppliers.
The war in Ukraine also displaced a huge number of people and created human and labour rights concerns for companies operating in the region. Against this backdrop, the investor community continued to place more emphasis on social themes in its stewardship and advocacy activities. In acknowledgement of these issues, we engaged with companies on their response to the Russia-Ukraine war and the cost of living crisis, and recommended support for a number of shareholder resolutions on social issues such as paid sick leave and human rights impact assessments.
This report describes our stewardship work during 2022 and the outcomes of these activities. We have followed the structure of the UK Stewardship Code, reporting principle by principle to communicate our policies, processes, activities and outcomes to clients and wider stakeholders. We outline our engagement, voting recommendations, public policy, screening and advisory work carried out on behalf of our clients.
Building on last year’s reporting, we have provided more detailed information about the training that we offer our team members and an update on the firm’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. We also offer insights into our engagement approach to the cost of living crisis and a detailed update on our collaborative engagement activities with Climate Action 100+. Examples and case studies are provided throughout to demonstrate how our approach works in practice.
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.
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.
As a business dedicated to delivering sustainable wealth creation that enriches investors, and, where possible, society and the environment over the long term, we will continue to engage and advocate to support the change needed by the planet, its people and the generations to come, consistent with client objectives and applicable requirements.
NB – Federated Hermes Limited reports separately under the Stewardship Code, with references to EOS activities.