ESG Agenda

BlackRock Doubles Down on Sustainability -

• BlackRock signals substantially more assertive posture on climate-related issues

• New approach to shareholder proposals saw BlackRock support 54% of environmental and social proposals in the second half of 2020

It is an annual ritual to digest the latest wisdom and demands from Larry Fink’s annual letter to public company CEOs. The letter is an important indicator of BlackRock’s stewardship priorities, important to the thousands of companies for which BlackRock is one of the largest shareholders. BlackRock’s annual letter is important for other reasons, including media coverage and a perceived effect on policy at other asset managers. Regardless of how much BlackRock’s policies reflect existing market sentiment or move it, the letter typically identifies a priority area or goal that is immediately added to the agendas of boards around the country.

The priority being added to agendas right now: net zero. In the letter, Fink announced that BlackRock is “asking companies to disclose a plan for how their business model will be compatible with a net zero economy.” Disclosure should also describe how that plan is incorporated into long-term strategy and reviewed by the board of directors, Fink wrote

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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