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2020 Sustainability Report

Our long-standing commitment to sustainable investing and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) engagement is grounded in the belief that sustainable practices are competitive advantages and value drivers. Through our firm’s culture and operations, we strive to advance sustainable practices and remain committed to continuous improvement. We appreciate the opportunity to share our approach and evolution.

The views expressed are those of the authors at the time of writing. Other teams may hold different views and make different investment decisions. The value of your investment may become worth more or less than at the time of original investment. While any third-party data used is considered reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed. For professional, institutional, or accredited investors only. 

Contents

  • Message from leadership

  • Section 1: About Wellington

  • Section 2: Our approach to sustainability

  • Section 3: Culture of stewardship

  • Section 4: Engagement philosophy, approach, and examples

  • Section 5: 2020 engagement and voting activity

  • Section 6: Resourcing and risk management

  • Section 7: WellSustain: Our corporate sustainability initiatives

  • Appendix: UK Stewardship Code and principles

Message from leadership

In many ways, 2020 was a year of intense learning. From the global pandemic to racial injustice to climate catastrophes, the events of the past year have strengthened our resolve to understand and address these issues in our operations and the investments we make on behalf of clients.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and climate change were two areas of acute focus throughout the year and will remain so in 2021. We are committed to improving our own DEI and encouraging the companies in which we invest to do so as well. To this end, in 2020 we launched and enhanced a number of internal initiatives to support allyship and accountability. And in early 2021, we joined the Corporate Call to Action, pledging to share our diversity data to create accountability and help our firm and industry chart progress in this area.

Our work with Woodwell Climate Research Center (Woodwell) to understand the physical effects of climate change on capital markets continues in force. This work has strengthened our stewardship efforts by underpinning our Physical Risks of Climate Change (P-ROCC) framework for company engagements, our Climate Action 100+ work, and our proxy voting decisions. Our deepening understanding of the economic impact of the changing climate led us to join the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative (NZAMI) as a founding member in December. Through this initiative, we have pledged to work with clients to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and have also committed to carbon neutrality in our operations by 2022. That means we have lots of work to do in 2021.

While we have made progress in many sustainability areas, we recognize that we have more to achieve. As a firm, we are committed to continually improving our sustainable investment and internal sustainability practices. We appreciate the opportunity to share our commitment and evolution with you.

Jean Hynee signature

Jean Hynes, CFA
Incoming Chief Executive Officer

Wendy Cromwell's signature

Wendy Cromwell, CFA
Vice Chair and Director, Sustainable Investment

Our approach to sustainable investing

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