Separately, Vanguard noted in the report that of its total $5 trillion in its equity index assets, $3.8 trillion is invested in companies with some form of emission reduction goals. Of that, $1 trillion is invested in companies with specific net-zero targets, a Vanguard spokeswoman confirmed.
“Our investment stewardship teams will continue to engage with our index fund portfolio companies about their commitments,” Vanguard added in the report.
The firm also said as it “continues to engage, introduce new products, and evolve our approach,” it expects the portion of assets managed in alignment with net-zero objectives to increase.
As a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, a group of 236 money managers pledging to support net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner, Vanguard also said it has “pledged to engage with companies, policymakers and other investment industry participants about the transition to net-zero, and to identify the proportion of assets to be managed in line with the attainment of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner.”
However, “The Asset Managers Fueling Climate Chaos,” a report issued on April 20 by environmental campaigners led by Reclaim Finance, a non-governmental institution seeking to move the world’s largest financial institutions away from fossil fuels, said Vanguard was one of the world’s largest investors in fossil fuels. As of Nov. 30, of 30 large U.S. and European asset managers that it surveyed with combined holdings of $82.5 billion in companies involved in coal expansion, Vanguard and BlackRock together accounted for $60 billion of that amount.
BlackRock and Vanguard were also the two biggest investors in 12 major oil and gas companies, including Gazprom, Saudi Aramco, BP, Shell, TotalEnergies, Chevron and ExxonMobil, with total stocks and bonds held in those companies of $133.5 billion and $129.8 billion, respectively, as of March 31. The 30 managers had combined holdings of $468 billion in those 12 major oil and gas companies.