Engagement at shareholder meetings
Since 1995, the VBDO has had experience with corporate engagement in various forms. For example, we visit the shareholders’ meetings (AGMs) of around 40 Dutch-listed companies annually and ask critical questions to promote their sustainable performance.
We also provide engagement on behalf of various individual asset managers, with whom we determine the themes and questions in consultation.
Collective engagement on three sustainability themes
In 2022 we started a number of working groups for collective engagement. The working groups are researching the negative impact and (financial) risks within three engagement themes; plastic pollution, biodiversity within the mining sector, as well as deep sea mining.
Please feel free to contact us for more information about (participation in one of) our collective engagement processes.
Collective engagement themes
Plastic pollution on the demand side
In collaboration with a large number of institutional investors, we collectively monitor the plastic use and plastic pollution of (food) retailers in Western Europe. This trajectory focuses on the demand side, which retailers, especially large supermarket chains facilitate.
In addition to the negative impact that plastic production and pollution cause on nature, we also see risks for investors. This is partly fueled by new EU legislation aimed at the sale of plastic and reporting obligations for companies, but also by a growing unrest among customers of these companies: 74% of EU citizens are concerned about the impact of plastic on health (Source: Special Eurobarometer 468, Attitudes of European citizens towards the environment).
Biodiversity and mining
Mining plays a crucial role in the energy transition and the pressure on this sector will only grow in the coming years. In collaboration with a group of investors, the VBDO is engaged in collective engagement with a number of large mining companies. Specifically, the themes of water management, biodiversity and landscape restoration after the closure of a mine are examined.
An engagement process has been running on the theme of water management since 2020 and in the course of 2022 this engagement was extended to biodiversity. Engagement guides have been written for the three themes that are publicly available (water management & mining, biodiversity & mining and reclamation & mining). Also, an investor statement has also been launched on water management that has been endorsed by a large group of (international) investors.
Deep sea mining
More information on this engagement topic will follow soon.