Stewardship and engagement

Engagement with companies and policymakers is a vital part of our role as ethical and sustainable investors. It’s an effective lever to bring about positive social and environmental outcomes.

Engaging at this level also enhances our ability to mitigate sustainability risks, empowering our clients to use their money as a force for good.  

Our active approach to engagement is a core part of our service. It complements our investment analysis and enables us to advocate for positive and lasting change on our clients’ behalf. Our clients feel that our engagement on their behalf allows them to be part of a bigger movement for change.
 

Because we recognise the power of partnerships where appropriate, we will collaborate with Non-Governmental Organisations and other members of the responsible investment community to increase the reach and impact of our engagement activities.

We engage at company-specific and thematic levels, and activity is set in the context of long-term dialogue and ownership. We always aim for open and constructive dialogue, in a spirit of longer-term partnership and support, but we are never reticent in asking searching questions.

We agree objectives and review progress against them each quarter. We can then opt to escalate our discussions and activities if necessary. While we aim to stay invested and make effective use of our shareholder voice and voting rights, divestment is always an option.

Any new insights from our engagement activities are fed directly back into the investment process. Clients receive a regular and detailed summary of the engagement activities that are relevant for their portfolio, and we look for opportunities to represent their views and create positive change on their behalf.

You can read more about the role we are playing in helping to accelerate the transition to net zero.

Greenbank engagement action plan 2024

Greenbank's 2024 action plan highlights our programme of thematic engagement, which is closely linked to our eight sustainable development themes.

Our vision is to empower our clients to invest their money as a force for good, together championing the transition to a healthier planet and a more equitable society.

Taking an active approach to engagement is a core part of our service and complements our investment analysis, as we aim to create and preserve long-term value for our clients. It is a vital expression of our role as stewards of our clients’ assets to advocate whenever possible for positive and lasting change within the companies that we invest in on their behalf. We engage on issues that are important financially, but we will also act where we feel an issue presents long-term systemic risks or we identify a moral imperative to address social or environmental concerns — in line with the expectations of our clients. 

We engage at both a company-specific and thematic level and our activity is set in the context of long-term dialogue and ownership. We recognise the power of collaborative engagement and partnerships and so, where appropriate, we collaborate with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other members of the responsible investment community to increase the reach and impact of our engagement activities. This enables us to create change on a deeper or more widespread scale than we may be able to achieve individually. 

We also engage with policymakers and data providers. You can read more about our approach to engagement in our engagement policy and our engagement review

Our 2024 action plan highlights our programme of thematic engagement, which is closely linked to our eight sustainable development themes. We also operate an ongoing programme of tactical engagement with the companies in which we invest. As part of our ongoing proprietary company research our in-house Ethical Sustainable and Impact research team identifies specific risks and proactively engages with companies to address these concerns. We divide our projects into priority and secondary groupings. For priority projects, Greenbank play a leading role in shaping the overall direction and strategy of the project. With secondary projects, we aim to still play an active role in progressing objectives but will generally join existing collaborative engagements and play a less active role in setting the strategy.

We have chosen the following engagement projects to focus on as a priority for 2024.

Priority engagement project - Health

Health

Grain
Priority engagement project - Nature

Nature

Toucan
Priority engagement project - Climate

Climate

Iceberg
Secondary engagement projects
purple mountains

Voting for change

Over the last 20 years, Greenbank’s engagement with companies on sustainability has led to positive change on a diverse range of issues, from modern slavery to biodiversity and nutrition. Voting at shareholder meetings is an important means of exerting influence with companies on behalf of our clients. Together with the Rathbones Group we actively vote in a manner that allows us to focus our resources where we believe we can make the most difference.

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