Since 2000, the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) has built a community of values-driven investors who are committed to amplifying their voices in support of a sustainable, inclusive and productive economy.
A message from our CEO
Some view the purpose of investing narrowly, as if the objective of investment is solely to achieve maximum financial returns.
The institutions that work with SHARE, however, know that the purpose of investing is not the financial returns on their own, but what those returns make possible. Their investments help pay for pension benefits, granting activities, student supports, capital budgets, and pastoral missions that are central to their work as institutions. And, when they leverage those investments and their position as investors, through SHARE, they also contribute to building the kind of inclusive and sustainable economy that sustains those benefits for the long term.
Decent work, inclusion, and environmental sustainability are at the heart of that resilient and productive economy, not a side-show to it. That’s why SHARE’s network is actively advocating for sustainability, good corporate governance and social inclusion through shareholder engagement, policy advocacy, proxy voting, and peer education.
And we are making an impact.
SHARE was started 20 years ago by the Canadian labour movement in order to express its ambitions for practicing responsible investment and mobilizing workers’ capital in workers’ interests. We took that ambition and we grew it to play a role globally, as the Secretariat for the Global Unions’ Committee on Workers Capital, and nationally, through our new Canadian Capital Stewardship Network. We brought together a growing number of religious institutions that had formerly coalesced under the banner of the Task Force on Churches and Corporate Responsibility, to carry on that work within an even broader coalition. We’ve worked closely with Indigenous partners to expand our Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative, spotlighting Indigenous leadership in responsible investment, and we’ve launched Foundation Investing 2.0 together with our partners to support foundations that recognize that the value of their investments is in what they make possible. And we’ve been working with universities to help them address the climate crisis through investor action.
Twenty years in, SHARE is continuing to create programs, services and opportunities for universities, foundations, pension funds, religious investors, Indigenous trusts and institutions of all sorts to have a bigger collective impact on the issues that matter to all of us.
Together we have purpose, we have ambition, and we have the tools to help promote an economy that doesn’t just concentrate financial wealth in the hands of the few, but one that builds a better future for all of us.
Kevin Thomas, CEO
Kevin Thomas, CEO
GROWING OUR NETWORK
SHARE’s network grew to 130 institutions with more than $23 billion in assets under management in 2019.
This network of philanthropic foundations, trade unions, pension funds, universities, asset managers, religious investors and Indigenous trusts share our goal of building a sustainable, inclusive and productive economy. With SHARE’s support, they are advocating for better corporate sustainability practices; exercising their proxy voting rights responsibly; and promoting greater transparency and accountability across capital markets.
EXPANDING OUR REACH,
DEEPENING OUR IMPACT
In 2019, SHARE’s team facilitated constructive shareholder dialogues with 137 companies on a range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues as part of our shareholder engagement program.
42 companies met one or more of SHARE’s engagement targets, and 52 more were in productive dialogues towards solutions. To learn more about our Shareholder Engagement Services.CLICK HERE
BUILDING LEADERSHIP THROUGH INNOVATION
Since its inception, SHARE has been building responsible investment leadership among diverse asset owner groups. In 2019, our efforts and unique approach were recognized when we were named one of Canada’s ten most innovative non-profits by The Logic for our work helping organizations live up to responsible investing principles.
One of the ways that we build leadership is by bringing people together to connect, learn and collaborate. In 2019, over 900 people joined us at in-person and on-line events hosted by SHARE, including 288 people who participated in workshops held by the Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative (RRII) – an innovative project delivered by SHARE and the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association.
At the same time, 2019 marked the launch of Foundation Investing 2.0, an exciting new national program for Canada’s philanthropic communities to learn about responsible and impact investing.
SHARE engages with corporate boards to promote sound capital management strategies that prioritize the long-term health of the corporation, and the protection of its employees, its customers, its supply chains, and the communities and ecosystems where they operate.
In 2019, SHARE spoke to companies about their approaches to executive compensation, board diversity, and lobbying. We received the first Canadian majority vote for one of our three shareholder proposals on improving diversity throughout the company, and in all three cases we brought more women into leadership positions. We joined with other investors in writing to 47 large US corporations calling on them to align their climate lobbying with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and engaged another 23 Canadian energy sector companies on the issue.
Read about the historic vote at Waste Connections Incorporated.
Learn more about our work on climate lobbying here.
ACTING ON CLIMATE CHANGE,
SUSTAINABILITY AND A JUST TRANSITION
SHARE is making headway on climate change. In 2019, we prioritized engagement with energy utility companies, financial institutions and high GHG emitters, among others.
Following engagement by SHARE, three of Canada’s largest methane-emitting companies announced new methane reduction targets in line with SHARE’s recommendations. All four of the energy utilities we engaged improved climate-change strategy and public reporting in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
To facilitate a just transition to a low-carbon economy, 432 workers at two coal-fired generating stations have been successfully re-employed by the two electrical utilities we engaged, at identical salaries and benefits. Canadian banks made commitments of more than $350 billion for new financing for sustainable industries. And four of six target companies we engaged on water protection were able to demonstrate tangible improvement in the number and volume of pipeline spills, suggesting we’ve made progress on protecting the environment from these damaging incidents.
IN CORPORATE CANADA
Since 2016, SHARE has led shareholder engagement efforts in Canada encouraging companies to make tangible commitments to reconciliation including implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and specifically Call to Action 92 on Business and Reconciliation.
In 2019, four companies launched cross-company training on Indigenous culture and history, two agreed to develop new Indigenous rights policies, and one agreed to set ambitious targets for procurement from Indigenous-owned businesses. All the while, we worked with Indigenous trusts and communities across the country to promote Indigenous leadership in responsible investment and to help grow the Indigenous economy.
To learn more about our work to advance Reconciliation.
VALUING DECENT WORK
SHARE believes that decent work is not only a social good but a business imperative.
SHARE’s engagement seeks to remind boards and management that shareholders value investments in a healthy and productive workforce and welcome efforts to create a safe, diverse, and rewarding workplace. We’ve achieved majority support from independent shareholders for better worker protections at Tim Hortons and Burger King stores, and we’ve elevated oversight of workforce issues for its 750,000 employees to the board level at Amazon for the first time.READ MORE
Leading Responsible Investing Research
SHARE regularly publishes research based on our environmental, social and governance issue areas. In 2019, SHARE published 14 investor briefs, proxy voting reports, policy positions and more, building our library of responsible investment resources.Read our latest publications