The ESG Services team at NEI works with corporations to improve their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. Engaging and working directly with company management, we alert companies to environmental, social and governance risks and propose solutions to the tough challenges they face.
The power of corporate engagement
NEI ESG Services uses a proactive engagement approach because:
Much of a company’s value is in its reputation and ability to mitigate risk. If we can improve its ESG practices, we improve its reputation and limit exposure to risk, thus improving overall value for shareholders — and our investors.
Corporate engagement sends a message about environmental, social and governance expectations to shareholders and to other companies in the industry.
Corporate engagement works to keep companies accountable to all their stakeholders as well as the communities in which they operate.
Our approach is based on dialogue
The first step is dialogue and communication. NEI engages companies in discussion through ESG Services. This dialogue allows us to gain insight into company decision-making procedures, identify internal-change agents and provide them with the information and arguments they need to influence top executives and board directors.
Strategies for change
There are many strategies we deploy to encourage change. Our Corporate Engagement Program has three components:
Focus List Dialogues - Direct engagement with company management or the Board of Directors, including letters, one-on-one meetings or joint dialogues with other investors.
Shareholder resolutions or proposals – As investors, we have the ability to submit a shareholder proposal in advance of a company’s annual general meeting for other investors to vote on. A proposal is generally filed when an issue has not been resolved through dialogue alone.
Proxy voting - It is the responsibility of all investors to vote annually on a company’s Board of Directors, ratification of auditors and other business matters at a company’s annual general meeting. NEI takes this responsibility seriously and every vote associated with our investments is overseen by in-house proxy voting analysts on the ESG Services Team.