Vanguard names names and calls for climate action

Mutual fund giant backs shareholder resolutions and singles out companies who must limit climate-warming emissions

Vanguard names names and calls for climate action

Vanguard Group, the world's largest mutual fund manager, backed shareholder resolutions for shippers United Parcel Service Inc and J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc and oil driller Ovintiv Inc to limit their climate-warming emissions, according to a report by Reuters.

The details marked the first time the firm has named names in describing such proxy votes at recent shareholder meetings. Vanguard principal Glenn Booraem told Reuters the firm's views on climate and its proxy votes reflect a growing consensus among investors and companies that businesses should account for the risks of operating on a warmer planet.

Climate change "is getting increasing attention at every level of the market," he said.

Vanguard had raised climate concerns previously, without singling out companies by name but with growing interest among investors about climate impacts, the new vote details are a way for Vanguard to show executives and its own clients how the firm puts its views into practice, according to the report.

Reuters’ article points out that, as a top shareholder in nearly every major U.S. company, Vanguard's voice is often dominant in boardroom decisions. Vanguard manages some $6 trillion under management for 30 million mom-and-pop investors. Traditionally Vanguard and its main rival, BlackRock Inc , have backed shareholder climate resolutions only about 10% of the time.