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

Except where stated as otherwise, the source of all information is Aviva Investors Global Services Limited (AIGSL). Unless stated otherwise any views and opinions 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. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but has not been independently verified by Aviva Investors and is not guaranteed to be accurate. Past performance is not a guide to the future. 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. Nothing in this material, including any references to specific securities, assets classes and financial markets is intended to or should be construed as advice or recommendations of any nature. Some data shown are hypothetical or projected and may not come to pass as stated due to changes in market conditions and are not guarantees of future outcomes. This material is not a recommendation to sell or purchase any investment.

In Europe this document is issued by Aviva Investors Luxembourg S.A. Registered Office: 2 rue du Fort Bourbon, 1st Floor, 1249 Luxembourg. Supervised by Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier. An Aviva company. In the UK Issued by Aviva Investors Global Services Limited. Registered in England No. 1151805.  Registered Office: St Helens, 1 Undershaft, London EC3P 3DQ.  Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference No. 119178.

In Singapore, this material is being circulated by way of an arrangement with Aviva Investors Asia Pte. Limited (AIAPL) for distribution to institutional investors only. Please note that AIAPL does not provide any independent research or analysis in the substance or preparation of this material. Recipients of this material are to contact AIAPL in respect of any matters arising from, or in connection with, this material.  AIAPL, a company incorporated under the laws of Singapore with registration number 200813519W, holds a valid Capital Markets Services Licence to carry out fund management activities issued under the Securities and Futures Act (Singapore Statute Cap. 289) and Asian Exempt Financial Adviser for the purposes of the Financial Advisers Act (Singapore Statute Cap.110). Registered Office: 1Raffles Quay, #27-13 South Tower, Singapore 048583. In Australia, this material is being circulated by way of an arrangement with Aviva Investors Pacific Pty Ltd (AIPPL) for distribution to wholesale investors only. Please note that AIPPL does not provide any independent research or analysis in the substance or preparation of this material. Recipients of this material are to contact AIPPL in respect of any matters arising from, or in connection with, this material. AIPPL, a company incorporated under the laws of Australia with Australian Business No. 87 153 200 278 and Australian Company No. 153 200 278, holds an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL 411458) issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Business Address: Level 30, Collins Place, 35 Collins Street, Melbourne, Vic 3000, Australia.

The name “Aviva Investors” as used in this material refers to the global organization of affiliated asset management businesses operating under the Aviva Investors name. Each Aviva investors’ affiliate is a subsidiary of Aviva plc, a publicly- traded multi-national financial services company headquartered in the United Kingdom. Aviva Investors Canada, Inc. (“AIC”) is located in Toronto and is registered with the Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) as a Portfolio Manager, an Exempt Market Dealer, and a Commodity Trading Manager. Aviva Investors Americas LLC is a federally registered investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Aviva Investors Americas is also a commodity trading advisor (“CTA”) registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and is a member of the National Futures Association (“NFA”).  AIA’s Form ADV Part 2A, which provides background information about the firm and its business practices, is available upon written request to: Compliance Department, 225 West Wacker Drive, Suite 2250, Chicago, IL 60606.

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