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Climate-risk disclosure moves up priority list at Vanguard

Vanguard Group announced Monday that its investment stewardship team has made climate-risk disclosure a priority over the past year.

The announcement came as Vanguard disclosed in a news release that money manager Walden Asset Management withdrew a shareholder proposal submitted to some Vanguard mutual funds seeking a report on proxy-voting policies related to climate change.

"Climate change represents an evolving set of risks and opportunities for companies in many sectors. Vanguard has prioritized climate risk on our engagement agenda, and we have discussed the topic with more companies over the past year than ever before," said Glenn Booraem, investment stewardship officer, in the release. "Our discussions have centered on advocating for disclosure of material risks to companies' long-term business prospects and the value of their assets under a range of forward-looking scenarios. It is crucial to our fund investors that market participants have access to consistently comparable information to incorporate these risks and opportunities into market prices."

Vanguard Group will issue its first comprehensive report later this month offering "deeper discussion of our thinking on climate risk and gender diversity on boards (as two issues on which we expect continuing focus), as well as expanded anecdotal discussion of specific engagements, voting rationale, and vote decisions," the news release said.

Lindsey Lane, Walden Asset Management spokeswoman, could not be immediately reached to provide further information.