We integrate ESG factors and engage companies to increase shareholder value.
Our firm is committed to responsible investing, as part of our fiduciary obligation to help our clients achieve their long-term investment objectives.
Through our affiliations and company engagement, we act as industry advocates and can encourage positive change that can ultimately increase shareholder value.
Cohen & Steers aspires to a leadership position in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing in real assets and alternative income. We believe our proprietary approach to ESG integration and our stewardship enhance our ability to deliver more consistent, attractive risk-adjusted returns in a systematic and transparent manner. In addition to the important work of ESG integration in our daily investment decisions, we actively engage with many of the companies in which we invest to promote business practices aligned with creating shareholder value, exercising our proxy votes and using our influence as an industry thought leader.
At Cohen & Steers, we review each company in our investment universe across environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors specific to the unique dynamics of its industry and asset class. Our size and depth of expertise, along with the frequency of our company interactions, allows us to carefully assess management credibility and strategy. We combine these insights with MSCI data and other industry standards to form a comprehensive view that is expressed both explicitly and implicitly in our investment decisions.
Read more about our ESG Integration process.
We take an active ownership approach with companies, advocating for sound ESG principles that we believe will help optimize investment performance. This engagement is integral to our fundamental research process, providing a framework for dialogue to actively influence or change ESG practices that may have a material impact on a company’s ability to preserve or grow its economic value. Cohen & Steers’ scale and specialization provide us unique influence with companies, giving our ESG advocacy maximum impact.
Read more about our approach to engagement.
ESG at Cohen & Steers
Global Head of ESG
Cohen & Steers has a dedicated Global Head of ESG, Khalid Husain, who is part of the Investment department and oversees the Firm’s environmental, social and governance investment framework and integration process, serving as chair of the Cohen & Steers ESG Steering Committee. Additionally, Mr. Husain works to enhance the Investment teams’ existing ESG process, support strategy development and ESG product initiatives, help guide the Firm’s commitment to corporate responsibility and prepare for and anticipate ESG regulations and policies globally.
ESG Steering Committee
The Cohen & Steers’ ESG Steering Committee oversees ESG initiatives across the Firm and sets future direction of ESG efforts. This ESG Steering Committee originates and prioritizes ESG initiatives and oversees four subcommittees dedicated to specific ESG-related areas: ESG Investments Committee, ESG Product Strategy & Development Committee, ESG Corporate Responsibility Committee, and ESG Regulatory Affairs Committee. The ESG Steering Committee meets at least quarterly, but more frequently as needed.
ESG Investment Committee
The Firm has an ESG Investment Committee which consists entirely of investment staff, mainly portfolio managers and analysts, who are responsible for implementing our integration approach into our investment process. The ESG Investment Committee has designated ESG Captains (four in total) across our key publicly listed asset classes (real estate, infrastructure, natural resources equities and preferreds) who lead their respective teams in ESG initiatives and represent their team as the expert on ESG to both internal committees and clients. The role of ESG Captain is to be the team lead for ESG initiatives and represents the team as the expert on ESG.
Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative
Since 2013, Cohen & Steers has been part of the growing network of international investors supporting the Principles for Responsible Investment Initiative (PRI), a United Nations-backed initiative focused on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues. As signatories to the PRI, Cohen & Steers completes the annual PRI Transparency Report, which includes information on responsible investment issues and issuer engagement examples. This information is also available on the PRI website.
UK Stewardship Principles
Cohen & Steers UK Ltd, and Cohen & Steers more broadly, strongly support the provisions of the UK Stewardship Code (the “Code”). We regard careful and responsible stewardship of our clients’ interests as central to our approach to serving them and are currently a signatory of the Code. Please see our full UK Stewardship Code Report for further details.
Singapore Stewardship Principles
We are proud to endorse these principles which aim, by articulating the core behavior and actions associated with investor stewardship, to enable investors to be active and responsible shareholders.
Cohen & Steers also seeks to encourage companies to adopt ESG best practices at an industry level through the initiatives and industry groups listed below. These groups comprise leading investors and issuers in the sectors we invest in, and are forums through which we discuss corporate governance practices with the goal of improving these practices. These foster collaboration and allow us to discuss and assess ESG matters with industry peers and leading industry constituents.
Memberships relevant across all strategies:
- PRI signatory
- UK Stewardship Code
- The Investment Association (U.K.)
- Investment Company Institute (ICI)
- Japan’s Stewardship Code
- Singapore Stewardship Principles
Listed Real Estate memberships:
- Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)
- European Public Real Estate (EPRA)
- Asia Pacific Real Estate Association (APREA)
- National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT)
- FTSE EPRA NAREIT Asia Regional Advisory Committee
Global Listed Infrastructure and Natural Resource Equities memberships:
- Global Listed Infrastructure Organization (GLIO)
- Member of the Technical Group for GRESB Infrastructure
- Energy Infrastructure Council (EIC)
- Master Limited Partnership Association (MLPA)
ESG: opportunities and challenges within real estateWatch video
ESG integrationWatch video
At Cohen & Steers, we review each company in our investment universe across environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors specific to the unique dynamics of its industry and asset class. Managing analyst Raquel McLean chairs our ESG Investment Committee and shares our four-step process to integration.
Proprietary ESG scores and our approach to engagementWatch video
Our analysts go beyond third-party scores, weighing individual factors against our proprietary scoring model. This hands-on approach extends to our engagement with firms, as Cohen & Steers does not rely on third-party proxy services. Members of our ESG Investment Committee share why they feel this differentiates us and how it gives us an advantage.
Biden, energy and the future of ESG investingWatch video
Members of our ESG Investment Committee look ahead to the themes that will affect the future of ESG investing, including the impact the Biden administration could have on infrastructure and the energy sector.
Weighing environmental and social factors in infrastructure investingWatch video
While Governance factors tend to be consistent across sectors, the Environment and Social factors vary. Portfolio manager Quynh Dang breaks down the unique factors that apply to infrastructure and how the team approaches them.