Aviva Investors delivers an active ESG engagement commitment

(London) – Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc (‘Aviva’), today publishes its Annual Responsible Investment Review, reporting significant increases in its voting and engagement activity for 2020. The review outlines how Aviva Investors’ responsible investment approach aligned with the priorities of clients and society.

  • Aviva Investors voted on 72,025 resolutions at 6,457 shareholder meetings – voting against 24% of management proposals, including 43% of pay-specific resolutions
  • Aviva Investors undertook over 1,500 engagements with companies and recorded 90 instances where the firms helped drive positive changes in corporate behaviour

The report reveals that Aviva Investors voted on over 72,025 resolutions at 6,457 shareholder meetings globally in 2020, a 16% increase in resolutions voted on and 20% increase in meetings from 20191.  Aviva Investors voted in favour of 98% of the most significant climate and social shareholder proposals tracked by ShareAction.

Remuneration was the issue most actively opposed, Aviva Investors voted against 43% of 7,680 remuneration resolutions. This was followed by director elections (32%), anti-takeover measures (31%) and auditors (22%). 

Aviva Investors was ranked second by ShareAction for its environmental voting track record and achieved an A+ rating in the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment scorecard.

Through bilateral and collaborative company engagements, the exercising of voting rights, filing shareholder resolutions, and dialogue with regulators, Aviva Investors achieved 90 successful engagement outcomes. These included a call for social media platforms to strengthen controls against objectionable content and holding the Brazilian government to account over deforestation in the Amazon.

Engagement by asset class

With the collaboration of its ESG, equity and credit teams, Aviva Investors notched up targeted engagement with over 1,500 companies and was involved in a further 1,900 corporate interactions through collaborative initiatives and written communications.

In real assets, good progress was made against Aviva Investors’ commitment to originate £1 billion of climate transition-focused loans by 2025, with £189 million of sustainable loans originated in 2020. Since 2015, the company has also made £5 billion of investments in solar, wind, energy centres and energy from waste. In 2020, Aviva Investors also invested £172 million in social housing, contributing to the provision of affordable homes in communities across the UK.

To support its stewardship activities, Aviva Investors strengthened its internal ESG research capabilities. This included launch of a proprietary ESG ratings tool and publication of over 500 internal ESG research notes.

Aviva Investors’ market reform efforts are an extension of its integration and stewardship work. Where market failures exist or there are systemic or market stability risks, Aviva Investors engages with policymakers to reform markets. Currently, efforts are focused on four main areas of market reform, including climate change, biodiversity, antimicrobial resistance and diversity.

Mark Versey, CEO, Aviva Investors, said: 

History may look back on 2020 as a turning point for environmental, social and governance issues. The pandemic has proven to be a giant ESG stress test for the global economy and shown us that today’s challenges will not respect national borders. Investors have a vital role to play in pushing for change on society’s biggest issues, from climate change to diversity, environmental degradation to human rights. We are proud to have long been at the forefront of investor action on these issues.”

Aviva Investors voted on 61876 resolutions in 2019

Responsible Investment Annual Review 2020

PDF 13.0 MB 116 pages

This year’s Responsible Investment Annual Review seeks to demonstrate how Aviva Investors has turned talk into action in 2020. We are proud advocates of the Financial Reporting Council's (FRC) UK Stewardship Code and this report details the impact that our responsible investment approach has had on our clients and on the society we serve.

For more information contact:

A picture of Victoria Howley

Victoria Howley

Media Relations Manager

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Katie Ormrod

Aviva Investors Media Relations

Important information

The information and opinions contained in this document are for use by the financial press and media only. No reliance may be placed for any purpose on the information or opinions contained in this document nor should they be seen as advice. 

The press release is provided on the basis that Aviva Investors Global Services Limited is not causing the communication of a financial promotion under exemption of the Financial Promotion Order, as Aviva Investors Global Services Limited has no control over the way in which an article based on this press release is prepared and published by the financial press and media. 

Except where stated as otherwise, the source of all information is Aviva Investors Global Services Limited (“Aviva Investors”) as at 14 April 2021. Unless stated otherwise any views, opinions expressed are those of Aviva Investors. They should not be viewed as indicating any guarantee of return from an investment managed by Aviva Investors nor as advice of any nature.  The value of an investment and any income from it may go down as well as up and the investor may not get back the original amount invested. 

Issued by Aviva Investors Global Services Limited, registered in England No. 1151805.  Registered Office: St Helen's, 1 Undershaft, London, EC3P 3DQ   Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Aviva Investors

Aviva Investors is the global asset management business of Aviva plc. The business delivers investment management solutions, services and client-driven performance to clients worldwide. Aviva Investors operates in 14 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and the United Kingdom with assets under management of £366 billion in assets as at 31 December 2020.

AVIVA PLC

For information on how Aviva is helping our people, customers and communities impacted by COVID-19 visit: www.aviva.com/covid-19-our-response/

Aviva is a leading international savings, retirement and insurance business. We exist to be with people when it really matters, throughout their lives – to help them make the most of life. We have been taking care of people for more than 320 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’.

Our vision is to earn our customers’ trust as the best place to save for the future, navigate retirement and insure what matters most to them. In 2019, we paid £33.2 billion in claims and benefits on behalf of our 33.4 million customers.

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Total group assets under management at Aviva group are £522 billion and our Solvency II capital surplus is £12.0 billion (HY20). Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.

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