At RBC GAM*, we believe that being an active, engaged and responsible owner empowers us to enhance the long-term, sustainable performance of our portfolios. We recognize that the rights we have as a large, global investor come with the obligation to actively use those rights in a responsible way.
We believe that the proper disclosure and consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities by the companies or countries in which we are invested is critical to strengthening the overall performance of our portfolios. We seek to integrate ESG factors into our investment process when doing so may have a material impact on our investment risk or return.
Our commitment to integrate ESG factors into our investment process is firm-wide. In addition, we have a dedicated Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment (CGRI) team whose role is to advance ESG integration by managing and coordinating ESG research, engaging with our investee companies on ESG–related issues, overseeing all of our proxy voting, collaborating with like-minded investors and engaging with lawmakers or regulators.
For more information about ESG integration at RBC GAM, please see our Approach to Responsible Investment.
Responsible Investment Commitments
UN Principles of Responsible Investment (UN PRI)
RBC GAM is signatory to the UN PRI. We are committed to putting the UN PRI's six Principles of Responsible Investment into practice and believe that they are aligned with our existing approach to responsible investment.
The PRI evaluates signatories' approaches to the Principles based on its assessment methodology. In our most recent Assessment Report, the PRI gave each of our modules a score of A+.
Detailed responses to the UN PRI on our responsible investing activities for the most recent year can be found in our 2020 RI Transparency Report.
In 2017, RBC GAM joined a coalition of Canada's largest institutional investors known as the Canadian 30% Club Investor Group. As communicated in its Statement of Intent, the group's objective is to achieve a minimum of 30% of women on the boards and in senior management roles of S&P/TSX composite index companies by 2022.
RBC GAM is a member of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Alliance and SASB's Investor Advisory Group. SASB's mission is to help businesses around the world identify, manage and report on the sustainability topics that matter most to their investors.
RBC GAM is a founding member of the Investor Stewardship Group (ISG). The ISG is a collective of institutional investors brought together to establish a framework of basic standards of investment stewardship for institutional investors and corporate governance principles for U.S. listed companies.
RBC GAM is a
signatory to the UK Stewardship Code, The Code aims to
enhance the quality of engagement between asset managers and companies to help
improve long-term risk-adjusted returns to shareholders. We are currently
preparing our Statement of support for the updated UK Stewardship Code (2020).
Our Statement will be published with the first list of signatories in 2021. Our
latest Stewardship Code Statement, aligned to the
prior version of the Code, is publicly available.
RBC GAM has accepted the Japan Stewardship Code and have detailed how we comply with the code in our Commitment to the Japan Stewardship Code. RBC GAM will review this document annually and update as necessary after each annual review. Additional information that complements our Commitment to the Japan Stewardship Code, such as information about our proxy voting practices and voting record and our firm approach to responsible investing, can be accessed from this page.
RBC GAM has provided additional disclosure of its approach to stewardship through the NAPF Stewardship Disclosure Framework.
RBC GAM is a signatory to the Carbon Disclosure Project, which incentivizes companies and cities to measure and disclose their environmental information by putting this information at the heart of business, investment and policy decision making. We are also a signatory to the PRI Statement on ESG in Credit Ratings, which encourages credit rating agencies to proactively take ESG factors into consideration for relevant issuers.
Latest Industry Perspectives
Our fifth annual Responsible Investment Survey reveals the latest views, actions and intentions of institutional investors and consultants related to responsible investment and ESG. This year's survey indicates that ESG integration continues to grow globally. But for the third year in a row, the gap between investors in Canada and Europe who reported adopting ESG principles and those in the U.S. widened. Investors globally are also becoming increasingly convinced that ESG integrated portfolios can help mitigate risk and increase returns. Other key findings include:
READ THE REPORT
- Anti-corruption rises to the top among all ESG concerns — Of the 18 ESG concerns survey respondents were asked about, anti-corruption ranked highest in 2020, followed by climate change and shareholder rights
- Investors seek more climate-related investment solutions — Canadian investors are the most interested in investing in renewables when considering other climate-related strategies
- Confidence increases around ESG as a risk mitigation tool — 67% of those surveyed agree that integrating ESG factors into their investments can help mitigate risk
We are pleased to share with you our 2020 CGRI Semi-Annual report. The report highlights our activities during this year›s proxy voting season, one unlike any other due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
READ THE REPORT
- RBC GAM Proxy Voting Guideline Updates for 2020: notable updates to reflect ongoing trends in corporate governance and ESG integration, including shareholder rights
- Climate Action 100+ shareholder proposals: increased attention towards holistic climate change considerations across shareholder proposals
- Impacts of virtual-only meetings: protecting shareholder rights remains a priority as global virtual-only meetings continue.
RBC GAM frequently conducts research on corporate governance and responsible investment. Scroll down for our other publications.
Proxy voting is a key part of our engagement process as it provides an important way for us to convey our views to boards and management. Voting responsibly is part of our fiduciary duty and we make our voting decisions independently and in accordance with our customized Proxy Voting Guidelines. We publish our proxy voting records.
We engage with management or the directors of our investee companies to address risks and opportunities related to ESG factors when they have been identified as particularly material for that company. For example, over the previous year we have had extensive engagement with companies on the issues of executive compensation, board independence, corporate governance and shareholder rights.
We work closely with other like-minded investors and investor coalitions to improve the ESG-related disclosure and practices of our investee companies.
RBC GAM is a founding member of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG). CCGG engages collectively on behalf of all of its members with Canadian public companies in which they have invested. Members of RBC GAM’s Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment team serve on the Public Policy and Environmental & Social committees.
RBC GAM is a sustaining member of the Responsible Investment Association, Canada's association for responsible investment. A member of our CGRI team is the Board Secretary.
RBC GAM collaborated with other investors through Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk to release a Statement of Investor Expectations that promotes a consistent framework for the green bond market that builds on the Green Bond Principles.
* References to RBC GAM include one or more of the following: RBC Global Asset Management Inc. (including PH&N Investment Management), RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc., RBC Global Asset Management (UK) Limited and the asset management division of RBC Global Asset Management (Asia) Limited.
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