Goldman Sachs prioritizes climate disclosures ahead of proxy season
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Goldman Sachs Asset Management plans to cast proxy votes against directors with oversight of emissions reporting who are not disclosing enough in the coming proxy season, according to a report.
In particular, the $2.5 trillion investment division plans to penalize companies that fail to disclose enough information about their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to a Reuters report.
The division’s global head of stewardship Catherine Winner said the information is needed by Goldman’s own investment team so they “don’t have to rely on third-party data, which is often wrong.”
Winner said that Goldman is “not going to wait” for the March 21 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruling that called for additional corporate emissions disclosures to kick in, as this only takes effect in 2026.
Reuters reported that the new policy will treat climate data similarly to the criteria that Goldman previously set for boardroom diversity in December. This states that the asset management division now expects companies in the S&P 500 and FTSE 100 to have at least one diverse director from an underrepresented ethnic minority group and at least two women on their board.
Since 2020, Goldman has engaged with 271 companies making insufficient emissions disclosures, with less than 100 having made no improvement which Winner said will now make the directors more vulnerable.
The news follows the announcement of four shareholder proposals filed ahead of Goldman’s upcoming April 28 annual meeting including one that seeks to end the company’s fossil fuel financing.
Goldman responded that limiting its ability to provide financing to producers would not result in either a reduction in emissions or demand for fossil fuels, and that it is necessary to continue engaging in the industry than to divest it entirely.