Shareholders pressure Toyota to do better on climate

Shareholders pressure Toyota to do better on climate

Written by:

Future Group

Future Group, on behalf of Future Super, supported a shareholder resolution to Toyota, proposing the company be required to disclose its climate change-related lobbying activities.

Toyota has been participating in lobbying which advocates for petrol powered vehicles, attempting to slow the transition to electric vehicles and government policy that might speed up that transition.

That’s why Future Group, on behalf of Future Super, was part of a shareholder resolution at the 2023 Toyota AGM in June, demanding the company disclose its climate-related lobbying, pressuring the company to act on climate change.

We also advocated against the appointment of Akio Toyoda as the chairman of the company given that under his leadership Toyota has taken part in this anti-climate lobbying. Some of the largest pension funds in the world also voted against him.

We collaborated with Greenpeace to publicly announce our support of the proposed climate resolution.

Unfortunately, this shareholder resolution did not receive majority support. It was actually the first shareholder proposal to be put forward to the company in two decades.

Future Group Chief Impact Officer Emily Flood explains, despite not getting the result we were hoping for, the resolution was important for investors like Future Group to be a part of.

“The climate crisis is leading to a massive economic transformation. Disclosures like this help us identify how companies are responding to the crisis: they are either on the front foot; or are going to be laggards and left behind in the past,” she says. 

“We need Toyota to be focused on responding to our climate reality, rather than wasting resources to slow political action - that's a risk for all their investors.”

The Toyota shareholder resolution is an example of Future Group’s approach to stewardship in action. We believe that as an investor we have a responsibility to use our influence to pressure companies to act responsibly.

Emily explains: “Superannuation is a tool for collective power and action and you can see that at play when super funds give members a voice at AGMs and call for transparency and accountability.”