We are pleased to present our newest engagement report, which showcases the results of our global engagement activities in 2020.

In 2020, we executed 300 engagement meetings:

Our newest report showcases key milestones achieved through company engagements, including that of a Chinese water infrastructure and technology provider that is more aware of its physical climate risks due to our analysis of its exposures and ongoing dialogue, and that of an energy efficiency provider that is better poised to reap the many business benefits of a more diverse workplace by welcoming two female directors to its board of directors at our encouragement.

Impax buys company securities that we believe are well-positioned to add value over the long term, as we make the needed transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy. We expect the companies in which we invest to adapt intelligently to changing conditions, but no company is perfect, and sometimes we believe companies can do more to avoid the risks and embrace the opportunities associated with the transition to a more sustainable future.

Engagement helps us better understand the companies in which we invest, and it allows the companies to understand our decisions better; buy and sell decisions convey little information by themselves. Engagement also helps us determine how companies understand their own risk and opportunity landscapes and helps us improve our pricing of risks — particularly emerging ones such as physical climate risks and water availability. Finally, because companies that focus on environmental, social and governance factors often tend to outperform those that are less sustainably focused, successful engagements can at times make companies even better investments.1

This engagement report also includes commentary on how the global pandemic and social unrest changed engagement in 2020; details on the shareholder resolutions we filed — 67% of which we withdrew after successful dialogue with the companies in question; and our proxy voting record. We are one of the few firms that reads every word of the many proxies we review each year — they average 85 pages — and we vote on 100% of them.

In ShareAction’s “Voting Matters 2020” report,* Impax’s voting record ranked first out of 60 of the world’s largest asset managers on 102 shareholder resolutions on climate change, climate-related lobbying and social issues.

In Morningstar’s 2020 proxy voting report,** Impax’s support for key ESG resolutions exceeded the conventional funds’ average and sustainable funds’ average by wide margins.

The public policy realm of engagement kept us busy during 2020. This report details our efforts to influence outcomes that support solutions to environmental and social challenges, including:

  • our push for ambitious national action on climate change solutions in the UK and Europe,
  • our support for initiatives to “green” the financial system by introducing effective regulatory frameworks for sustainable finance,
  • our request for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require companies to disclose the precise locations of their significant assets so that investors, analysts and financial markets can better assess the physical risks they face connected with climate change,
  • our participation in the European Union’s effort to develop a regulatory framework for sustainable finance, and
  • our letter to the SEC opposing a proposed rule to significantly curtail shareholder resolutions.

Bringing about change often seems to take a long, slow arc to completion, but with ice sheets collapsing, resources diminishing and inequality widening, there is new urgency to deliver the major changes needed to transition to a more sustainable economy and a growing recognition of the crucial role the financial sector can play in accelerating that transition. We are committed to helping shape this important work.

Go to Engagement Report 2021

1 Julie Gorte, “The Financial Impact of Diversity,” Impax Asset Management, July 16, 2020.
*Jeanne Martin, Lauren Peacock, Martin Buttle, Rachel Hargreaves and Xavier Lerin, “Voting Matters 2020,” ShareAction, December 2020.
**Jackie Cook, Jon Hale, “Sustainable Fund Proxy Votes Show a Range of Support for ESG Measures,” Morningstar Research, December 2020. (Conventional funds defined by Morningstar as funds offered by the 20 largest U.S stock fund managers. Sustainable funds include open-ended and exchange-traded funds available in the US that are tagged as “sustainable investments” by Morningstar.)


Lisa Beauvilain

Head of Sustainability & ESG, Executive Director

Lisa is responsible for the development and oversight of Impax’s Sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analysis, including overseeing stewardship work in the Listed Equity team. She is the Chair of Impax’s ESG, Sustainability Lens and Environmental Committees and also Co-Heads Impax’s impact investment work.

Lisa joined Impax in 2010. She started working in the financial industry in 1999 and previously worked as an executive director in the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs in London. Lisa has also worked as an independent consultant, focusing on environmental policy research and analysis.

She is active within working groups and advisory councils relating to impact investing, water, governance and ESG standard setting with several external industry organisations.

Lisa has an MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics as well as an MSc in Finance from the Hanken School of Economics, Finland.

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Julie Gorte, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing

Julie Gorte is Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing at Impax Asset Management LLC, the North American division of Impax Asset Management Group and investment adviser to Pax World Funds.

She oversees environmental, social and governance-related research on prospective and current investments as well as the firm’s shareholder engagement and public policy advocacy. Julie is also a member of the Impax Gender Analytics team.

Prior to joining the firm, Julie served as Vice President and Chief Social Investment Strategist at Calvert. Her experience before she joined the investment world in 1999 includes a various number of roles. Julie spent nearly 14 years as Senior Associate and Project Director at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Additionally, she has held the roles of Vice President for Economic and Environmental Research at The Wilderness Society, and Program Manager for Technology Programs in the Environmental Protection Agency’s policy office and Senior Associate at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

Julie serves on the boards of the Endangered Species Coalition, E4theFuture, Clean Production Action and is the board chair of the Sustainable Investments Institute.

Julie received a Ph.D. and Master of Science in resource economics from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science in forest management at Northern Arizona University.

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