Portfolio managers and analysts frequently engage with portfolio companies on a variety of issues. For 2017, we logged engagements with over 130 companies related to ESG issues. The goals of engagement are driven by the relevant analyst. Environmental issues addressed include the adherence to local protocols for evaluating the environmental performance of buildings as well as more general topics relating to energy conservation and efficiency. Social issues addressed include community-support initiatives and charitable efforts, as well as building designs intended to focus on the well-being of tenant employees (e.g., WELL certification). Governance items we engage on include specific items such as board independence and structure, ownership, proxy access, takeover defenses and executive compensation.
In addition, we continued our efforts to support GRESB by engaging with 30 non-participating companies to emphasize the importance of the survey and encourage participation going forward.