The ExxonMobil vote: A tiger in the responsible investing tank?


07.08.2017 Mellon Capital

BNY Mellon recently published why its Mellon Capital unit voted in favor of the shareholder resolution submitted at ExxonMobil this year, requiring enhanced disclosure of business risks as a result of policies aimed at mitigating climate change. The resolution passed by a historic margin at ExxonMobil’s May shareholder meeting, receiving 62% support despite the board’s opposition to it. At last year’s shareholder meeting the resolution received 38% support, evidencing a significant increase in climate change risk awareness and conviction by major investors over the past 12 months.

 

Mellon Capital’s Karen Wong, Head of Equity Portfolio Management, states that Mellon shares the viewpoint that climate change represents a systematic global risk that demands better disclosures from companies vulnerable to such risk. Wong reveals that Mellon’s decision to support the resolution at ExxonMobil was informed primarily by two things: 1) Mellon’s long-term commitment to responsible investing; and 2) external research that identified the vulnerabilities to Mellon’s investment stemming from ExxonMobil’s current approach to climate change and its lack of disclosure around the business risks associated with potential climate change regulations.

 

Read the entirety of Mellon’s commentary here.