Voting at company meetings is one way where the Fund can exercise its shareholder rights to influence and encourage better ESG practices among in the companies we invest in.
The Fund's voting practices domestically and internationally are predominantly based on the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) Corporate Governance Guidelines to ensure consistency of our voting process.
ACSI’s Governance Guidelines can be found here: https://acsi.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ACSI-Governance-Guidelines-2019.pdf
In Australia, as a member of ACSI we actively contribute to the setting of the Governance Guidelines which we use to inform our voting decisions. By being a member of ACSI, we sign off on the Guidelines which give an ESG perspective on voting recommendations. ACSI’s Guidelines are used by management to arrive at their voting recommendations.
There are limited circumstances where the Fund cannot vote, and the Fund has a policy regarding stock lending as outlined in our Responsible Investment Policy.
Cbus’ voting positions are not considered in isolation, Cbus will consider engagement with companies, our managers and broader stakeholder views (where applicable). In all cases the Fund will make its voting decision based on the best long-term interests of members.
When a contentious issue arises, the Fund will seek a range of inputs and will consider engagement progress and outcomes. Examples of contentious issues include:
- Shareholder proposals
- High profile external events
- AGMs classified as having contentious resolutions by the proxy voting service provider CGI Glass Lewis or ACSI
We use a third party service provider to execute proxy voting based on our own voting policy. We are able to track voting outcomes based on the criteria set by Cbus. In addition our voting approach and criteria is approved annually by the Investment Committee with weekly and monthly voting reports are provided.