We use our influence as shareholders to promote responsible and sustainable practice among those companies in which we invest. We were in the forefront of signatories to the UK Stewardship Code, a set of principles released by the Financial Reporting Council whose aim is to make institutional investors active and engaged in corporate governance in the interests of their shareholders. We fully support the code and comply with all its principles.

Our approach to stewardship is set out in our Stewardship Statement. This is supported by our Corporate Governance and Corporate Responsibility Voting Policy, which sets out our voting position on a range of issues associated with board accountability, effectiveness and company values. We apply this policy across the tens of thousands of resolutions put forward at the thousands of company AGMs we vote on every year. This helps us encourage companies to be better governed, more transparent and more sustainable. These are qualities we believe will deliver better long-term returns for our customers.

While the Stewardship Code has the most direct relevance to equity investments, at Aviva Investors our stewardship principles are also applied where appropriate to other investments.

Engaging for change

We engage with hundreds of companies each year with the aim of improving corporate behavior and shareholder returns. The issues we address range from human rights, health, safety and labor standards to operating in environmentally-sensitive habitats, corporate values and tackling bribery and corruption.

By focusing on the long-term issues, and encouraging companies to place sustainability and good governance at the center of their strategy and operations, we create a legacy for our customers and the communities and environment we live and work in.

For case studies, please see our 2015 Annual Review.