BLACKROCK, INC. | Proxy Voting Alignment at BLACKROCK, INC.

Status
8.17% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
7
Resolution details
Company ticker
BLK
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Governance
ESG sub-theme
  • Shareholder rights
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Financials
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareowners request that the Board of Directors initiate a review of both BlackRock’s 2023 proxy voting record and proxy voting policies related to climate change, prepared at reasonable cost, omitting proprietary information.  
Whereas clause
BlackRock is a respected global financial services leader providing multiple investment options for clients addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics.  
Research by BlackRock noted long-term inaction on climate change could reduce global economic output by nearly 25 percent over the next two decades, making addressing climate change an urgent and material issue for investors. CEO Larry Fink reiterated in his 2023 letter to investors that the firm “views climate risk as an investment risk”.
However, despite the clearly articulated recognition of the materiality of climate risk, neither BlackRock’s proxy voting guidelines, nor its voting record reflects this view. According to ShareAction, in 2022 BlackRock ranked 62nd of 68 asset managers, supporting only 28% of environmental resolutions. In 2023, this support continued to decline sharply: BlackRock supported only 7% of the environmental and social shareholder proposals on proxy statements ( BlackRock annual stewardship report ). Of the 65 climate resolutions on proxies, BlackRock supported only 6 (NPX filings pf S&P500 companies as provided by Diligent).
This proxy voting record seems inconsistent with BlackRock’s membership in several investing initiatives:
The Principles for Responsible Investment, a global investor network representing more than $120 trillion in assets urges investors to vote on ESG issues and “prioritize addressing systemic sustainability issues”. The Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative commitment to a voting policy consistent with achieving net zero emissions by 2050.Climate Action 100+, an investor initiative urging the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters to reduce emissions consistent with the Paris Agreement, flags votes for its members; BlackRock significantly lagged peers, voting for only 2 of 20 flagged proposals. While BlackRock clearly states climate change creates material risk for companies, when voting it looks primarily at risk created for a specific company in the near-term. Such an approach is shortsighted and fails to acknowledge a multitude of physical and transition-related risks. 
In addition, proxy voting that appears to ignore the full scope of climate risks creates reputational and business risk for BlackRock, especially with global clients committed to ESG and concerned about the broader economic impact of climate change.
We further believe it is BlackRock’s fiduciary responsibility to consider the impacts of climate risks on both portfolio companies and portfolios as a whole, evaluate how specific shareholder resolutions may impact long term shareholder value, and vote accordingly. In light of this, we request the Board authorize this special review.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: Proponents suggest the review include the following among other topics: 
Any misalignment between BlackRock’s policy and voting record with the goals of the Paris Agreement, industry initiatives of which BlackRock is part and BlackRock’s own stated policies.   A comparison with the voting record of other major investment firms and mutual funds.Recommendations for strengthening voting guidelines on climate-related issues.  

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Any voting recommendations set forth in the descriptions of the resolutions and management proposals included in this database are made by the sponsors of those resolutions and proposals, and do not represent the views of the PRI.

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