Brunel’s RI & Stewardship Outcomes Report highlights depth and impact of 2023 engagement

Brunel's RI & Stewardship Outcomes Report 2024 - cover

Brunel Pension Partnership’s Responsible Investment & Stewardship Outcomes Report 2024, published today, demonstrates the extensive range of tools and strategies Brunel employed to make progress against its seven priority RI themes across 2023.

It shows Brunel’s work to improve data and reporting, harness industry coordination on key themes and initiatives, influence public policy, maximise its engagement & voting impact, and improve its portfolios’ exposures, both to meet our clients’ ambitions and to encourage faster RI & stewardship progress across the industry.

Our RI & Stewardship Outcomes report gives us an opportunity to shine a light on the stellar work that Brunel undertakes, on behalf of, and with, our clients. The many examples in this report highlight our continued commitment to work in partnership with our managers and peers to raise the bar on impactful stewardship. Stewardship by its nature isn’t high profile. It occurs during regular meetings and through diligence of approach, and it is great to have this annual opportunity to demonstrate the impacts it had in 2023.

Vaishnavi Ravishankar, Head of Stewardship Brunel

Further demonstrations of the meaningful ways Brunel voted on key topics are cited throughout, and the Votes to note sections provide insight into important thematic votes such as on WH Group (p.37) or on the National Grid (p.64).

The report provides a wealth of examples of the impact and real-world change brought about by Brunel’s Responsible Investment (RI) approach.

Numbers to note

Key take-aways include:

  • Fresh approach to human rights, starting with internal workshop
  • Tackling climate change from all angles – 600+ companies engaged on climate and 83% (nearly £1bn) in committed capital to infrastructure in sustainable themes
  • Pioneering new work on asset owner-asset manager alignment in climate stewardship
  • Engagement successes following co-filing on climate at Barclays, and on diversity at Charter Communications
  • Collaboration with client funds to engage with consumer staples companies on physical climate risk and biodiversity
  • Quantifying our biodiversity impacts and dependencies through footprinting
  • How our policy advocacy & engagement continued as a key driver of systemic change:
    • 99.8% of meetings voted
    • 805 companies engaged
    • 121 public policy interactions
    • 1,331 meetings instructed
  • Introduction of AI into our stewardship evaluation

Our primary purpose is to provide assurance to our partnership funds and their beneficiaries that we are fulfilling our fiduciary obligations through exercising the highest standard of stewardship across all RI themes – themes that are themselves firmly linked to the key systemic risks facing investors. We are proud we have consistently met the high standards set out in globally leading UK Stewardship Code.

Faith Ward, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Brunel

Structured around our seven RI priorities, the report gives insight into;

  • Brunel’s RI and stewardship objectives, policies, processes and governance
  • Challenges and complexities we face in achieving real-economy progress.
  • Successes achieved through collaboration with peers in the industry
  • Progress against our ambitious targets and detail on how that progress shapes next steps
  • Importance of policy advocacy as a stewardship lever, especially amid weakening governmental commitments on climate (and other key themes)

A focus on climate in June

The first theme Brunel will be highlighting in the coming weeks is Climate Change, which is intrinsically linked to fiduciary duty, but also forms the focus of our upcoming TCFD disclosures. In June, we will publish our next Climate Progress Report, which demonstrates how we measured up against our Climate Change Policy 2023-2030 targets, set last year.

It will be accompanied by additional case studies, and we will highlight opportunities to attend Faith Ward’s speaking engagements during London Climate Action Week. More information will be available in the RI section of our website and via our LinkedIn profile

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