Engagement with consequences

Responsible investment principle: We prioritise engagement where we can make a real difference in addressing the world’s systemic environmental and societal challenges. We are prepared to reduce our holdings in companies that present an ongoing ESG risk.  

An important aspect of our approach to responsible investing is the dialogue we maintain with the companies we invest in. 

Through active engagement, we use our voice to influence them towards better, more sustainable long-term performance. 

Studies have shown that engagement with companies on ESG issues can lead to better investment outcomes. When combined with active voting, and set within a clear escalation framework, it can be a powerful force for positive change. 

How we engage

Company engagement on ESG issues has been an important part of our stewardship activities for many years. We prioritise engagement where we can make the most impact in addressing systemic environmental and social challenges and add value to clients’ portfolios. Our engagement efforts are backed up by our willingness to reduce our holdings in companies that continue to present ESG risks over time. 

Company engagement can take many forms, including: 

  • meetings with senior management 
  • public statements 
  • collaboration with other investors 
  • tabling or voting on resolutions at company AGMs

Engaging together

While we reserve the right to respond as we deem appropriate depending on the circumstances, our general approach to new and ongoing engagement is outlined below: 

Please read the Rathbones Investment Management  responsible investment report  and engagement policy for more information on our engagement. 

Engaging together:
Votes against slavery

In 2021 Rathbones led an investor collaboration to urge companies to meet their modern slavery reporting obligations. Find out more about this engagement.  


Collaborating to drive change

We know that collaboration will increase our ability to drive change and we are pleased to continue supporting several organisations, including the IIGCC (Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change), ClimateAction100+ and the PRI. Please read the Rathbone Investment Management responsible investment report and engagement policy for more information on this principle. 

  • We’ve been members of the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) since 2009. As PRI signatories, we participate in engagement on ESG topics with a number of global firms. In the PRI’s annual assessment we achieved an A+ rating for our strategy and governance disclosure
  • We’ve been members of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change through Rathbone Greenbank for many years. In 2020 we expanded this to a group-wide commitment
  • We are a member of the CDP (previously known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). We submit our own report to the CDP each year. We also support the CDP’s encouragement of greater disclosure by companies, investors and government of the impact of their actions on the climate, water and forestry. 

To learn more please see our partnerships and memberships page.

View our combatting modern slavery webinar.

​Our guide, 'Engagement at Rathbones' explains our focus for 2022.