ClearBridge Impact Report Highlights ESG Integration and Engagement

Annual Impact Report outlines ClearBridge Investment’s efforts in public company engagement over the past three decades
Apr 10, 2018 11:35 AM ET
Press Release

NEW YORK, April 10, 2018 /3BL Media/ ClearBridge Investments, LLC has published its 2017 Impact Report, “Making an Impact through Active Equity Ownership.” ClearBridge has been engaging with public companies to campaign for improvement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for more than three decades. This report outlines the evolution of ESG investing at the firm and how, as active shareholders, ClearBridge measures its impact on the companies it owns across its strategies.

Link to the report:

Key Statistics Found in the Report:

  • $124.3 billion assets for which ESG risk and opportunities are analyzed

  • 658 proprietary ESG-rated companies

  • Over 1,000 meetings directly with publicly traded companies each year

  • 334 companies where we are a top 20 shareholder

  • 7 years is the average period we own a company [1]

  • 10 years ClearBridge has been a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment

Does ESG really impact the bottom line?

ClearBridge Investments’ Portfolio Managers and Analysts have met with publicly traded companies over 1,000 times in the past fiscal year, consistent with its practice of keeping an open line of dialogue with the firm’s portfolio companies. An example of its typical engagement is an IT hardware company in which ClearBridge has been a shareholder for the past nine years. An initial discussion on sustainability reporting led to the company measuring and reporting carbon emissions data and setting five-year targets to reduce emissions by 30%. The company also recognized the need to address water consumption and eventually achieved 100% water recycling in its Shanghai manufacturing plant, the first facility of its kind to reach such a milestone. In addition to the environmental impact, this decision resulted in over $2 million in water utility cost savings, a direct impact to the bottom line.

“By examining various facets of public companies’ business and engaging with company management teams on material issues, ClearBridge can drive positive change on a global scale while also contributing to financial returns,” said Mary Jane McQuillen, Head of ESG Investment and Portfolio Manager at ClearBridge Investments. “By not merely using ESG as an overlay, but rather as an integral part of our entire investment process, we believe public equity ownership can be a powerful tool to influence companies to drive change.”

“This report outlines the important role our ESG considerations play in our fundamental research process across the firm,” said Terrence Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of ClearBridge Investments. “Over the past 30 years, ClearBridge has been committed to communicating the benefits of including ESG factors in portfolio construction and investment selection. Investors are taking greater care to make sure the companies they invest in are acting as corporate stewards – and we know that this report will serve as a great tool in that process.”

The impact report can serve as a resource to learn about ESG issues most relevant to the sector analysts that guide company engagements and how ClearBridge promotes awareness of these issues in the institutional investor community.

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About ClearBridge

ClearBridge Investments is a leading global equity manager with $137 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2017. The Firm is committed to delivering long-term results through authentic active management, as we have for more than 50 years, and continues to offer investment solutions that emphasize differentiated, bottom-up stock selection to move our clients forward. Owned by Legg Mason, ClearBridge operates from headquarters in New York and offices in Baltimore, London, San Francisco and Wilmington.  ClearBridge has been a signatory to the United Nations supported Principles for Responsible Investing since 2008.

About Legg Mason

Guided by a mission of Investing to Improve Lives,TM  Legg Mason helps investors globally achieve better financial outcomes by expanding choice across investment strategies, vehicles and investor access through independent investment managers with diverse expertise in equity, fixed income, alternative and liquidity investments.  Legg Mason’s assets under management are $767 billion as of December 31, 2017.  To learn more, visit our web site, our newsroom, or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Any information, statement or opinion set forth herein is general in nature, is not directed to or based on the financial situation or needs of any particular investor, and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, or a recommendation with respect to any particular security or investment strategy or type of retirement account. Investors seeking financial advice regarding the appropriateness of investing in any securities or investment strategies should consult their financial professional.

©2018 Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC. Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC and ClearBridge Investments are subsidiaries of Legg Mason, Inc.


[1] The weighted average turnover of all ClearBridge’s strategies is 14.5% (weighted by assets managed in each strategy). This implies a holding period of approximately 7 years.

Madelyn McHugh
(212) 805-6039