Guide to taking action for companies

Companies all over the world are working to reduce their emissions in line with a 1.5°C pathway with the help of climate transition plans. Find out more about their targets and commitments below.

multiple cars driving over a city bridge

Why take action as a company?

The evidence is clear: climate change is an increasingly material risk that businesses must manage. For companies, the failure to take sufficient measures to address climate change and move towards net-zero emissions will have “severe consequences” including bankruptcy, according to former Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

Unsurprisingly, as the transition to a net-zero emissions economy accelerates, investors are looking for companies to demonstrate that they are planning proactively to ensure their business models remain competitive in a decarbonised world. But currently, less than 1% of businesses have credible climate transition plans in place.

By publishing a credible climate transition plan and putting this to an annual shareholder vote, companies can demonstrate the resilience of their business models and their commitment to dialogue with shareholders.

How can your business benefit from a ‘Say on Climate’ vote?

  1. 1
    Adopting a strong accountability mechanism for your climate change plans demonstrates credibility to investors, employees and clients, and strengthens sustainability branding
  2. 2
    Sustained engagement with shareholders (and hence informing bondholders and banks) on the company’s climate transition plan will lower cost of capital
  3. 3
    Climate leadership can deliver improved long-term share price performance
  4. 4
    Shareholders are taking an increasingly assertive stance with companies failing to develop credible plans

How to take action as a company

A step-by-step process

  1. 1
    Publicly endorse this concept and state on your website that you support the Say On Climate initiative and provide a link to Text template:
    • “We [Company] commit to submit a Climate Transition Plan at our AGM with an annual vote where shareholders deem it appropriate. We welcome the accountability this brings and encourage other companies and investors to adopt this practice.”
  2. 2
    Develop a credible climate transition plan and publish an annual update. See the essential components below
  3. 3
    Tie executive pay to the delivery of the plan
  4. 4
    Continue to disclose key climate data. This will allow shareholders to monitor ongoing implementation of your plan

Additional resources

Further information, guidance, and support to help you accelerate shareholder action on climate change.

Case studies


Aena adopted Say On Climate shareholder resolutions proposed by TCI requiring it to publish a multiannual comprehensive climate transition action plan and to put this to an advisory shareholder vote on an annual basis, and to amend its bylaws accordingly so a vote occurs automatically every year. 

Aena then produced an updated climate transition plan that makes several improvements on its previous plans, including a target to generate all of its energy from renewable sources by 2026. It also includes a commitment to further update the plan in 2021 to set out annual decarbonisation objectives covering scopes 1, 2 and 3 and a programme of actions to achieve those objectives.

While there remains significant room for improvement in Aena’s updated climate transition plan, the accountability mechanism introduced by an annual shareholder vote will enable shareholders to ensure continued progress. 

Proxy advisers supported the resolutions at Aena

The Say On Climate resolutions filed by TCI at Aena were endorsed by the main proxy voting advisers Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, in both their standard and sustainability advice.

Support for the Say On Climate resolutions at Aena was almost unanimous:

  • 98.15% of shareholders voted in favour of holding an annual advisory vote on Aena’s climate transition plan
  • 96.52% of shareholders voted in favour of amending the company’s bylaws accordingly

BlackRock Investor Services released a bulletin to explain its support for the Say On Climate resolutions, which notes:

“An annual advisory shareholder vote on the company’s plans and progress would give management and the board a clear sense of the level of shareholder support for the steps necessary in the transition.”

BlackRock Investor Services

This was a global first. It sets a precedent for other investors, proxy advisers, companies and regulators, and shows the effectiveness of an engaged shareholder willing to file resolutions on climate change.

 Positive media reaction to Say On Climate at Aena

International, specialist and local Spanish media all welcomed the adoption of Say On Climate by Aena: