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Calvert uses strategic engagement and shareholder advocacy to encourage positive change in companies. Calvert's activities may include, but are not limited to:
Clients typically have an opportunity each year to express their views on issues of corporate governance and sustainability at annual stockholder meetings. Calvert generally votes proxies for its clients consistent with its proxy voting guidelines. Click here to review our voting record and learn about the sustainability framework guiding our voting decisions.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PROXY VOTING
Calvert may initiate dialogue with management through phone calls, letters and in-person meetings. Through its interaction, Calvert seeks to learn about management’s successes and challenges and to press for improvement on issues of concern.
Much of what our engagement team does to work for positive change comes far from the headlines – it’s a lot of phone calls and visits with companies to help understand their viewpoints and to help them to see the advantages of improving their performance on financially material environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. However, one example that you may have seen in the news involves gun control.
Calvert does not own any U.S. gun manufacturers — their high risk to society and high risk for investors means they generally fail the Calvert Principles and are ineligible for our investment universe for our portfolio managers to consider.
For many retail companies that sell firearms, gun sales are a small percentage of their overall business. Moreover, businesses have choices as to what specific items they make available for purchase.
This increases the potential of a positive outcome as the result of Calvert's shareholder engagement. Because these companies can change their risk profile without altering their business model, they may be more receptive to making material changes that improve their ESG profile.
In the wake of the Parkland school shooting in February 2018, we focused on one retailer where gun sales were an insignificant portion of the business, and urged it to take swift action to establish policies that would eliminate the sale of all assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, and raise the age to purchase any firearm to 21. We were told at the time that Calvert was the first investor to make that specific request, but that the company was already taking a hard look at its policies and procedures for firearms sales and moving in a positive direction. It subsequently announced that it would indeed take action to stop selling guns to buyers under 21. That’s the kind of outcome our engagement team hopes for.
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