Portfolio managers and analysts frequently engage with portfolio companies on a variety of issues. For 2019, we logged engagements with 154 companies related to ESG issues. The total market capitalization of all companies with which we engaged is over $1.1 Trillion. The goals of engagement are driven by the relevant analyst with the following objectives in mind: 1.) In the area of proxy voting, to discuss items that come up for vote, many times in the area of governance or if there are environmental or social items; 2.) to fill in gaps where our external data sources may have conflicting information or incomplete information; 3.) to understand overall ESG strategy for companies in sectors where there is minimal disclosure, such as companies who own net lease or storage assets, for example; 4.) to influence companies with historically poor governance. 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.
We continued our efforts to support GRESB by engaging with the largest 28 non-participating companies in 2019 to emphasize the importance of the survey, encourage participation going forward, and to underwrite the companies' ESG efforts.