VALLEY FORGE, PA (August 14, 2017) — Vanguard today announced that Walden Asset Management has withdrawn a proposal submitted to certain Vanguard Funds seeking a report on proxy voting policies and practices related to climate change. This announcement follows ongoing discussions between Walden and Vanguard regarding the evolution of Vanguard’s engagement with portfolio companies and voting on shareholder proposals related to climate risk disclosures.
Glenn Booraem, the Vanguard Funds’ Investment Stewardship Officer, commented: “Climate change represents an evolving set of risks and opportunities for companies in many sectors. Vanguard has prioritized climate risk on our engagement agenda, and we have discussed the topic with more companies over the past year than ever before. Our discussions have centered on advocating for disclosure of material risks to companies’ long-term business prospects and the value of their assets under a range of forward-looking scenarios. It is crucial to our fund investors that market participants have access to consistently comparable information to incorporate these risks and opportunities into market prices.
Just as we’ve long espoused the value of engagement between institutional investors and portfolio companies, so too do we recognize the value of dialogue among investors on issues of common concern. The resolution that we’ve reached with Walden is evidence of engagement in action. Walden’s request also coincided with our plans for more comprehensive reporting on our Investment Stewardship activities; the first iteration of our expanded reporting will be published later this month, coincident with the annual filing of our proxy voting records. This report will feature deeper discussion of our thinking on climate risk and gender diversity on boards (as two issues on which we expect continuing focus), as well as expanded anecdotal discussion of specific engagements, voting rationale, and vote decisions.
We appreciate the productive dialogue we’ve had with Walden on this matter, and we look forward to ongoing engagement with shareholders and portfolio companies on these and other matters of significance to long-term value that emerge over time.”
About Vanguard Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment management companies. As of July 31, 2017, Vanguard managed $4.5 trillion in global assets. The firm, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, offers 371 funds to its more than 20 million investors worldwide. For more information, visit vanguard.com.