Before joining a collaborative engagement initiative, we ensure that we are in full agreement with the objectives of this action and with the operational methods used, to ensure that the engagement process remains constructive: the action must not be in contradiction with our own ESG factor analysis, voting and engagement policies. The experience, know-how and values that characterize the leaders of any such action are also looked at closely so that we can engage confidently throughout the process, which can last for several months or even years.
We monitor the engagement actions we are involved in on a direct and permanent basis. This process involves a close monitoring of the answers given by the company(ies) regarding the given issue. We are also in regular contact with the investors who initiated the action and communicate on the progress made, from the launch to the final conclusion.
Depending on our degree of interest in the engagement action we are supporting (for instance in relation to the weighting of the stock in Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management (France)'s portfolios) and which may have an impact on our investment decisions, we may also engage operationally alongside the action leaders. In return, we expect to be involved in the decision-making process for the entire duration of the engagement.
Whether conducted on an individual or collaborative basis, these engagement actions are very carefully selected and the results feed our expertise as a responsible investor. Year after year, the feedback received from every single action helps to enrich our ESG and engagement analysis process and improve our investment teams' proprietary knowledge on ESG integration.
EXAMPLE OF A COLLABORATIVE ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVESUPPORTED
In 2016, Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management (France) joined the PRI engagement group on methane emissions. This action was followed with concrete actions by the companies, as in n November 2017 senior executives from top operators signed principles to cut emissions from natural gas production, transportation and consumption. As members of the collaborative engagement, we will continue to encourage these companies as they roll out this commitment.
On the corporate governance issue, Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management (France) co-filed a resolution at the shareholder meeting in 2017 requesting for the respect of the principle “one share one vote”. The resolution gained 52.4% support but required a two-thirds majority to be passed.