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New VBDO AGM sustainability thema 2023 is advocacy & lobbying

Every year, the VBDO asks material questions (engagement) to the directors of around 40 Dutch-listed companies to promote sustainable business operations.

We ask these questions during general shareholders’ meetings (AGMs) in response to three themes in environment, social and good governance (ESG). We change one theme every year so that we remain up-to-date and gain insight into the performance of companies over several years. We publish the results of our engagement in our annual AGM engagement report.

In 2022, the VBDO asked questions about biodiversity, working conditions in the chain and diversity. For the coming AGM season, VBDO will introduce the governance theme of advocacy & lobbying instead of diversity. While lobbying can lead to better regulation, it can also get in the way of essential legislation. VBDO, therefore, expects companies to be transparent about their advocacy and lobbying activities, as well as their affiliated trade associations.