On Thursday, ahead of its upcoming shareholder meeting, BlackRock said it would more than double the number of companies it engages with over climate-related issues to more than 1,000 while laying out stronger goals on other fronts for portfolio firms ahead of the upcoming shareholder meeting season.
With $7.8 trillion in assets under its management, BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager with around $7.8 trillion in assets, aims to enhance the list of companies which it would cover for greenhouse gas emissions to 90% of its global holdings.
It has also explicitly called on companies to lay out plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
“We will step up our engagement efforts with this universe and consider accelerated voting actions should the substance of companies’ climate-related commitments and disclosures not meet our expectations,” said BlackRock in a statement.
The development comes at a time when there is growing pressure on companies towards environmental and social issues. “Performing well on such sustainability measures can help companies improve long-term returns,” said BlackRock.
In a report BlackRock said, “it had increased its support for climate- and social-related shareholder proposals since July 1, backing 11 out of 22.”
“We’ve really intensified our engagement approach,” said Sandy Boss, BlackRock’s London CEO while citing the example of Spanish airports operator Aena, where the asset manager has backed a shareholder resolution calling for an annual vote on its climate plans.