Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass, Lewis & Co. (Glass Lewis) have each issued their respective proxy voting guidelines for 2022, which include a number of noteworthy revisions, summarized below. The ISS updates are available here and will apply for shareholder meetings held on or after February 1, 2022 unless otherwise noted. The Glass Lewis updates, including updated guidelines for ESG initiatives, are available here and will apply for shareholder meetings held on or after January 1, 2022 unless otherwise noted.
Say on Climate. ISS has adopted two frameworks for analyzing Say on Climate proposals, one for proposals submitted by shareholders and another for those submitted by management. These new policies list the main, nonexhaustive criteria that will be considered in ISS’s analysis. Vote recommendations by ISS on such proposals will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the completeness and rigor of the plan and disclosures and other relevant criteria, including with respect to shareholder proposals whether the request is unduly burdensome or overly prescriptive.
Climate Accountability. ISS has adopted a new policy applicable to companies that are significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters, defined for 2022 as those on the current Climate Action 100+ Focus Group list. Under the new policy, ISS generally will recommend voting against or withholding votes from the incumbent chair of the responsible committee (or other directors on a case-by-case basis) in situations where ISS determines that the company is not taking the minimum steps needed to understand, assess, and mitigate risks to the company and the larger economy relating to climate change. For 2022, ISS considers such “minimum steps” to be: detailed disclosure of climate-related risks (such as those published by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework), and appropriate GHG emissions reduction targets.
Board Composition: Gender Diversity. Effective February 1, 2023, ISS has expanded its board gender diversity policy to all companies, not just companies included in the Russell 3000 and S&P1500 indices. Under the policy, ISS generally will recommend voting against or withholding votes from the chair of the nominating committee (or
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