AllianzGI to support a resolution related to corporate climate lobbying at Toyota Motor Corporation AGM

12.06.2024 | Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI), one of the world’s leading active investment managers, has announced today that it intends to cast its proxy vote for Resolution 4 Report on Corporate Climate Lobbying Aligned with the Paris Agreement at the upcoming annual general meeting of the shareholders of Toyota Motor Corp (TMC) on 18 June 2024.

Climate lobbying as a theme is critically important to ensure companies are not undermining their own stated goals. Whether unintentionally or not, companies may pursue lobbying activities relevant to climate policies, which are not aligned with their own commitments and actions. Such misalignment, taken in aggregation across a sector or market, may lead to regulatory or other public policy actions that outweigh any voluntary attempt by industries to decarbonise.

Whilst it is up to the board of a company to decide on an appropriate lobbying policy and how it is monitored, as shareholders AllianzGI favour good transparency into related activities, enabling better assessment of risks that are associated with misalignment. Despite the publication by TMC of Toyota’s Views on Climate Public Policies for the last three years, and the fact that AllianzGI observed encouraging improvements on lobbying organisation coverage and introduction of a third-party assessment, in our view these reports still fall short of demonstrating how TMC’s climate lobbying approaches are aligned with a Paris Agreement path.

Matt Christensen, Global Head of Sustainable and Impact Investing at AllianzGI, commented: "One of the largest and most influential companies in the auto sector globally, TMC is quite right to engage with governments and policy makers on issues pertaining to the success of its business. To us as shareholders, it is important that these lobbying activities are aligned with relevant stated commitments, gaps could give rise to reputational risks. We encourage more granular reporting on interaction with associations, for example escalation case studies, to make their climate lobbying report more meaningful for investors.”

When considering decarbonisation strategies of companies in the auto sector, AllianzGI expects the industry to take combined action for fleet already in service and setting time-bound targets for future rolling out of low emission vehicles, largely battery powered vehicles of any variety. AllianzGI also expects companies to be able to articulate clearly how their strategy is aligned with their own stated commitments such as Paris Agreement. Specifically, for TMC, who made the decision to commit to the Paris Agreement, AllianzGI would encourage more concrete reporting, for example case studies on escalation measures taken against trade bodies deemed to fall outside it.

AllianzGI has previously engaged TMC including on these issues, and plans to carry on engagement activity following the AGM.

Earlier this year, AllianzGI published its annual analysis of how it voted at AGMs in 2023 around the globe, based on its participation in 9,137 (2022: 10,205) shareholder meetings and voting on close to 100,000 (95,512) shareholder and management proposals. AllianzGI voted against, withheld or abstained from at least one agenda item at 71% (2022: 69%) of all meetings globally. It opposed 18% of capital-related proposals, 24% of director elections and 41% of remuneration-related proposals globally reflecting high expectations on governance standards.

About Allianz Global Investors:

Allianz Global Investors is a leading active asset manager with over 600 investment professionals in over 20 offices worldwide and managing EUR 533 billion in assets. We invest for the long term and seek to generate value for clients every step of the way. We do this by being active – in how we partner with clients and anticipate their changing needs, and build solutions based on capabilities across public and private markets. Our focus on protecting and enhancing our clients’ assets leads naturally to a commitment to sustainability to drive positive change. Our goal is to elevate the investment experience for clients, whatever their location or objectives.

Data as at 31 December 2023. Total assets under management are assets or securities portfolios, valued at current market value, for which Allianz Global Investors companies are responsible vis-á-vis clients for providing discretionary investment management decisions and portfolio management, either directly or via a sub-advisor (these include Allianz Global Investors assets which are now sub-advised by Voya IM since 25 July 2022). This excludes assets for which Allianz Global Investors companies are primarily responsible for administrative services only. Assets under management are managed on behalf of third parties as well as on behalf of the Allianz Group.

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