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Universities Superannuation Scheme - USS

PRI reporting framework 2018

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Outputs and outcomes

LEA 11. Number of companies engaged with, intensity of engagement and effort

11.1. Indicate the amount of your listed equities portfolio with which your organisation engaged during the reporting year.

Number of companies engaged(avoid double counting, see explanatory notes) Proportion (to the nearest 5%) Specify the basis on which this percentage is calculated
Individual / Internal staff engagements
Collaborative engagements
Service provider engagements

11.2. Indicate the proportion of engagements that involved multiple, substantive and detailed discussions or interactions with a company during the reporting year relating to ESG issue.

Type of engagement  % Comprehensive engagements
  Individual / Internal staff engagements
  Collaborative engagements
  Service provider engagements

11.3. Indicate the percentage of your collaborative engagements for which you were a leading organisation during the reporting year.

Type of engagement % Leading role
  Collaborative engagements

11.4. Indicate the percentage of your service provider engagements that you had some involvement in during the reporting year.

Type of engagement % of engagements with some involvement
  Service provider engagements

11.5. Additional information. [Optional]

Please note that 9999 was entered into the boxes above as we were unable to enter NA.

We do not consider the number of company engagements to be an appropriate indicator of the quality of engagement. As a result we have no reason to collect those statistics.

USS manages the majority of its assets in house. Given the concentrated and active  nature of USS’s public equity portfolio, the proportion of companies we engage with will be higher than for typical pension funds which tend to have very large passive exposures. 

With regard to question LEA 11.3, whilst USS will regularly participate or lead on collaborative engagements e.g. with other peer international pension funds, we do not track the exact number or wish to report on it.

Please see our comments in LEA 10.2 (and many other sections in the PRI report) for examples of USS's stewardship activities in public equities and other asset classes.


LEA 12. Engagement methods

12.1. Indicate which of the following your engagement involved.

12.2. Additional information. [Optional]

We do not maintain statistics on the type of engagement undertaken.  However, we have participated in all of the engagement types described above and recognise the contribution that each approach can make. 


LEA 13. Companies changing practices / behaviour following engagement

13.1. Indicate whether you track the number of cases during the reporting year in which a company changed its practices, or made a formal commitment to do so, following your organisation’s and/or your service provider's engagement activities.

Do you track number of companies that changed or made a formal commitment to change in the reporting year following your organisation’s and/or your service provider's engagement activities?

13.2. Indicate the number of companies that changed or made a formal commitment to change in the reporting year following your organisation’s and/or your service provider's engagement activities.

Number of companies % of total portfolio
Individual / Internal staff engagements
Collaborative engagements
Service provider engagements

13.3. Additional information [Optional].

Whilst we track the number of company responses to our engagements and changes in corporate behaviour and disclosure, as noted we do not maintain statistics around engagement responses.


LEA 14. Examples of ESG engagements

14.1. Provide examples of the engagements that your organisation or your service provider carried out during the reporting year.

ESG factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes
ESG factors
ESG issue
Conducted by
Objectives
Scope and Process
Outcomes

14.2. Additional information. [Optional]

Further details relating to the Akzo Nobel shareholder resolution (example 1) can be found by following the link below.

  • https://www.akzonobel.com/for-media/media-releases-and-features/akzonobel-announces-changes-supervisory-board

USS holds the view that not all engagements need to be face to face meetings or have specific deliverables.  We can exert our influence as stewards in a number of ways.  For example, where we have voted against or abstained on resolutions at a shareholder meeting, or where we note areas that are not aligned to our corporate governance policies, we communicate our concerns via a letter to the company Chairman after the vote.  Where appropriate we include comments in this letter about the company’s ESG disclosure and performance,  requesting greater disclosure where necessary.   We also ask questions regarding ESG matters via e-mail.  We consider that we can reach more companies if we adopt this lighter approach with some engagements.  This is particularly true in some of the emerging markets in which USS invests where stakeholder engagement is less developed.  Asking an ESG related question can send a message to companies about the materiality of ESG matters to investors and supports the mandate of sustainability teams within these businesses.


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