The Global Smaller Companies Trust PLC

Sustainability & ESG

While financial returns matter, so too does the impact our investments have on society and the environment. We work closely with Columbia Threadneedle’s Responsible Investment team to systematically integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into The Global Smaller Companies Trust’s investment process, with a view to reducing risk and improving returns over the long term – both in financial and sustainability terms.

The Global Smaller Companies Trust PLC – ESG engagement in Practice

The year to 30 April 2020 saw CTs Responsible Investment team hold 95 engagements on 146 issues with 47 companies in the Company’s portfolio. The most common topics for discussion were corporate governance, climate change, labour and environmental standards.

Exercising the right to vote is another way to influence positive change. Voting against management on key resolutions sends a clear signal to companies on the importance of improving their business practices. Columbia Threadneedle regularly engages companies before and after voting to explain their expectations and invite comment, and to explain the reasons for any votes against management. With respect to CT Global Smaller Companies’, in the year to 30 April 2020, Columbia Threadneedle voted at 196 meetings of investee companies held in the portfolio. Public details of all Columbia Threadneedle’s voting activity, including rationale for votes against management, become available on the website the day after each shareholder meeting here.

Learn more about the Trust’s approach in our latest report and accounts here.

*As at 31 December 2020

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