No fewer than 53 companies found themselves on the wrong side of a key shareholder in the past year, as the powerful investment firm BlackRock voted against them over sustainability issues.
“Climate risk is investment risk,” says Frank Cooper, chief marketing officer at BlackRock. “We’re going to hold our portfolios accountable for advancing efforts in environmental sustainability. And we’ve been active in doing that.”
BlackRock plans to vote against 191 more companies in 2021 if they don’t show improvements around climate change.
So in shareholder meeting after shareholder meeting in 2020, BlackRock voted against boards of directors, with plans to vote against 191 more companies in 2021 if they don’t show improvements around climate change.
Cooper spoke at Signal 2020, which came on the heels of BlackRock’s report card on its powerful companies. In a conversation with John Battelle, he talked about how BlackRock uses its heft to influence companies toward issues such as sustainability and diversity and inclusion that deliver on what Cooper called “long-term-ism.” The “rise of the S,” as he calls it, is increasingly playing into corporate success, as social factors become more relevant to revenue.
Watch the video below for the full conversation.