Environmental, Social, and Governance

For or Against? The Year in Shareholder Resolutions—2022

March 13 2023

With environmental and social proposals in the spotlight, case-by-case insights were key to our decision-making.

Key Insights

  • Our overarching objective is to vote in support of the path most likely to foster long-term, sustainable economic performance for the company and its investors.
  • We observed a general increase globally in investor engagement on environmental and social concerns and in resolutions submitted for a vote.
  • Distinct classifications of proposals provide a useful framework for understanding how we arrived at our voting decisions.

Shareholder Resolutions Voted on in 2022

(Fig. 1) Digging deeper into E&S resolutions

Shareholder Resolutions Vote

Chart shows the number of shareholder resolutions we voted on in 2022 by proposal topic. For “Social and Environmental Resolutions,” we classify the proposals into 5 distinct categories.
*There are two reasons we elect not to vote a certain resolution. The first is a technical requirement when voting in contested elections, where we vote on the proxy card of one side, but we enter “DO NOT VOTE” instructions on the other card. The second is due to share‑blocking, a requirement in certain markets that impose liquidity constraints in order to exercise voting rights. We generally do not vote in these markets.
As of December 31, 2022.
Source: T. Rowe Price Associates.

For the third year, we have published analysis of our voting results on shareholder resolutions of an environmental or social nature. After these resolutions earned unusually high support in 2021, we observed an increase in experimentation in 2022. We noted not only a large increase in the volume of proposals, an expansion of the types of topics brought to a vote, and growth in the population of proponents, but also an overall decrease in the quality of proposals.

Our approach to resolutions of this type continues to be examining them on a company‑by‑company basis as we decide how to vote. While trends in shareholder proposals change every year, our view is that accountability for environmental, social, and governance performance is best applied at the board level. We believe our 2022 voting record illustrates this principle clearly.

Important Information

Call 1-800-225-5132 to request a prospectus or summary prospectus; each includes investment objectives, risks, fees, expenses, and other information you should read and consider carefully before investing.

This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investment advice or a recommendation to take any particular investment action.

The views contained herein are those of the authors as of February 2023 and are subject to change without notice; these views may differ from those of other T. Rowe Price associates.

This information is not intended to reflect a current or past recommendation concerning investments, investment strategies, or account types, advice of any kind, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or investment services. The opinions and commentary provided do not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any particular investor or class of investor. Please consider your own circumstances before making an investment decision.

Information contained herein is based upon sources we consider to be reliable; we do not, however, guarantee its accuracy.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. All investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. International investments can be riskier than U.S. investments due to the adverse effects of currency exchange rates, differences in market structure and liquidity, as well as specific country, regional, and economic developments. There is no assurance that any investment objective will be achieved. All charts and tables are shown for illustrative purposes only.

T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc., distributor, T. Rowe Price mutual funds. T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., investment adviser.

© 2023 T. Rowe Price. All Rights Reserved. T. ROWE PRICE, INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE, and the Bighorn Sheep design are, collectively and/or apart, trademarks of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.


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