Significant & Escalation Votes and Rationales

The Critical Role of Responsibility

At AB, we’re invested in being a responsible firm—both in how we act and how we invest on behalf of our clients. We believe that ESG research, engagement and integration help us better assess risks and identify opportunities, ultimately leading to enhanced decision-making and better client outcomes.

The industry expertise of our investment team is important to developing an understanding of material ESG issues. Moreover, AB’s Responsibility team complements the investment teams’ research and engagement issues. The Responsibility team members have domain expertise in E, S and G issues, which can be used to challenge the investment teams’ thinking and equip our fundamental analysts with tools and training to consider ESG issues where applicable. 


Responsibility Is Embedded Throughout the Firm

AB’s Responsibility team, comprising experts in corporate responsibility and environmental, social and governance issues, partners with our investment teams at the heart of our responsible investing practices. Their work is supported by internal and external resources, and overseen by our Responsibility Steering Committee and AB’s Board of Directors. 

Upwards view of glass building

Net Zero Commitment

AB supports the Paris Agreement, and we’re committed to aligning our firm with a 1.5 degree pathway by 2050 while acting in the best interest of our clients.


Proxy Voting 

To be effective stewards of our client’s investments and maximize shareholder value, we need to vote proxies on behalf of our clients responsibly. As a research-driven firm, we approach our proxy voting responsibilities with the same commitment to rigorous research and engagement that we apply to all our investment activities.

Global Related Proxy Information

Vote Disclosure


2021 Responsibility Report

AB’s annual report on corporate responsibility and responsible investing


History of Our Commitment

  • Became Member of Sustainable Trading
  • Joined The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change
  • Joined the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Funds Initiative
  • Joined the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative
  • Accepted as a Signatory to the UK Stewardship Code for the second year in a row
  • Joined the Forum of Investors—Japan
  • Joined the TCFD Consortium in Japan
  • Joined the Japanese Stewardship Initiative
  • Joined the Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking—APAC
  • Joined Ceres
  • Became Founding Member of the Corporate Affiliate Program at the Columbia Climate School
  • Became Member of Emerging Markets Investors Alliance
  • Accepted as a Signatory to the UK Stewardship Code
  • Joined the AIGCC and ACGA
  • Became Boston College Center for Corporate Responsibility Supporting Member
  • Became Eurosif Transparency Code Signatory
  • Became FAIRR Member
  • Became Investor Stewardship Group Principles Signatory
  • Joined Investor Group on Climate Change
  • Started climate change and investing initiative with the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York
  • Became Associate Member of LuxFlag
  • Joined ICI Global ESG Task Force
  • Joined ICI Proxy Committee
  • Joined ICGN Board Governance Committee
  • Became TCFD Supporter
  • Became engagement colead for Climate Action 100+
  • Became committee member of Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong’s Public Shareholders Group
  • Published Engagement Policy
  • Became CII Corporate Governance Advisory Council Member
  • Joined Climate Bonds Initiative
  • Joined Catalytic Finance Initiative
  • Joined Climate Disclosure Project
  • Published formal response to Japan Stewardship Code
  • Chaired AN/Securities/IB Working Group PFA21
  • Joined International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)
  • Released Statement on Controversial Weapons
  • Became Japan PFA213 signatory
  • Became PRI signatory
  • Published formal response to UK Stewardship Code1
  • Joined Council of Institutional Investors (CII)

Why Investment Teams Need to Lead the Way

At AB, our Responsibility team helps portfolio managers and analysts consider and engage on ESG issues holistically and consistently, challenging investment teams’ thinking and encouraging analysts to incorporate this perspective into their financial models and outlooks. This robust approach helps teams consider ESG issues throughout their investment processes—ultimately driving better client outcomes.


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Our Approach to ESG Integration

From idea generation to ongoing stewardship, integrating ESG involves considering ESG risks and opportunities throughout the investment process.


Process in Action


The Active Engagement Advantage

As active investors, engagement is vital to our process. Each year, AB analysts engage with leaders of companies and noncorporate entities, including municipalities, supranational and sovereign issuers. We also engage selectively through our proxy voting activities.

These connections allow us to assess, discuss and encourage better business practices and approaches to address rapidly evolving ESG issues. We believe that engagement can drive better research and better outcomes for clients, communities and the world.


How ESG Integration Can Improve Outcomes

ESG risks are often financial risks. With strong ESG research, engagement and integration, we can better assess risks and identify opportunities—the path to improved investment decision-making.

Columbia University

Climate Academy

AB and the Columbia Climate School are partnering to tackle climate change. Together, we hope to research the most pressing climate issues, embed those insights throughout our investment process where applicable and educate others.


Engagement in Action

Chilean Electricity Sector

Power generation is a very capital-intensive industry, and in Chile, is highly dependent on Coal, making companies there reluctant to shutter operational coal plants. Also, many price-sensitive consumers can’t shoulder higher electricity bills to subsidize the transition from coal to renewable methods. We’ve been engaging with the largest four Chilean power-generation companies (AES Andes, Colbún, Engie Energia Chile and Enel Chile) and an electric system financing entity (CHIPEC) to discuss phasing out coal plants and creating innovative ways to finance the transition to renewable energy.

In the first half of 2021, Engie Energia Chile announced that it would close all its coal-powered plants by 2025. AES Andes announced that it would close more than half its coal facilities. To address the issues facing vulnerable consumers amid a short-term period of elevated power prices due to the green power transition, AB engaged with the Chilean government and bankers to develop a creative solution—developing CHIPEC).

AB also engaged with Chile on developing an ambitious carbon emissions reduction plan. Chile became the first sovereign to issue a sustainability-linked bond, with its targets tied to the de-carbonization progress from the utility sector. The key performance indicators of this new bond are stronger than the existing government policies, which positions it close to a 2-degree scenario.  Also, on September 30, 2022, Enel Chile announced the closure of its final coal plant—Bocamina II. Enel Chile is the first company among this group to close all of its coal plants, years ahead of its initial commitment. This progress will dovetail AB’s engagements going forward.

Chilean cityscape with mountains in background


In support of South African diversified energy company Sasol’s decarbonization efforts, AB continued engaging in 2021 as colead of the Climate Action 100+ (CA 100+) investor cohort. Although Sasol still has a long road ahead to achieve its climate objectives, the company made substantial progress in 2021.

After engaging with Sasol early in 2021, AB and the other CA100+ investors escalated concerns about the company’s decarbonization plans to the firm’s board. In early September, we wrote to the board relaying investors’ expectations for disclosure of its climate strategy, including a suitable transition plan, a clear approach to net zero by 2050, a supporting capital plan and openness about remaining uncertainties.

Later that month, Sasol released robust plans for its net-zero 2050 commitment, new emissions-reduction targets, a decarbonization strategy, capital-allocation plans, a CA100+ benchmark self-assessment and a TCFD statement. It also increased its renewable energy procurement at its Secunda site—the largest single carbon-emitting site in the world—from 900 to 1,200 megawatts by 2030.

In November, AB and the CA100+ cohort met with Sasol’s board to discuss the strategy, its implementation and the financial, political, and operational feasibility of proposed solutions and fossil fuel alternatives. Later that month, management’s nonbinding climate-transition-plan resolution was approved by 96% of shareholders. AB and the CA100+ investor cohort will send a follow-up letter emphasizing the importance of effectively implementing the plan and will continue engaging in 2022.

South African energy plant

National Vision

In 2019, AB voted against one of National Vision’s directors: the firm had failed to remove its classified board and supermajority-vote requirement to change governing documents in the year after its initial public offering. The company had other shareholder-unfriendly provisions, including a plurality voting standard, no shareholder rights to call a special meeting or act by written consent, and no proxy access.

We continued to vote against the company in 2020 because the classified board and supermajority voting provisions remained, but its 2020 proxy statement indicated plans to sunset the provisions in 2021. Finally, after several engagements with the company on these governance issues, we saw National Vision reflect our feedback in its 2021 proxy, eliminating its classified board and supermajority voting requirement. The company also published its first corporate responsibility report, which contained a comprehensive materiality assessment and disclosures under both Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards.

Diverse group of business people sitting at a conference table

How Does Engagement Make a Difference?


Engagement generates insight into issuers’ strategies, competitive positioning and how they address risks and opportunities, including potential material ESG considerations. It also helps us assess management, strategy, operations and governance structure. This insight can enhance our research and investment decisions—with the ultimate goal of generating risk-adjusted returns for our clients.


Engagement helps us advocate for our clients’ interests—enabling us to share our ESG philosophy and corporate-governance policies to try to effect positive and sustainable change by issuers. Discussions can focus on strategic, financial, and ESG and climate-related issues, but the goal is always the same: to encourage firms to make decisions with a long-term view that supports positive, sustainable financial outcomes for them, their stakeholders and our clients.


We work closely with non-AB investors, asset owners and ESG-focused organizations on engagement. Collaboration can happen when we’ve independently arrived at the same conclusion as other managers and believe that working together might help address specific issues. Collaboration can also occur when we believe that issues might be better addressed through a “common ask.”


Collaborate, Explore, Advance

Proprietary Research Collaboration Platforms

We’ve innovated platforms that power collaboration between our analysts within and across asset classes as we research and engage with issuers.



Our fixed-income ESG research platform, PRISM, provides independent ESG assessments and scores that impact investment decisions. The goal, of course, is straightforward: better and faster information can empower better decisions.



ESIGHT is a one-stop online shop where AB investment teams can access and share proprietary information about corporate ESG practices. We’ve launched several ESIGHT enhancements, including an ESG knowledge center, COVID-19 research and country ESG scores for fixed income.


Finding Responsible Solutions

Responsible investing is a personal journey. Clients may have different environmental and social priorities, and preferences for different investment approaches. To try to meet this need, we’ve developed our suite of Portfolios with Purpose—our ESG-focused strategies.

Icon for the year 2013
Year first Portfolio with Purpose was launched
Purple icon for the number $31 Billion
Dollars invested in Portfolios with Purpose

Portfolios with Purpose

We manage US$24 billion in Portfolios with Purpose today, one of the most rapidly growing segments of our business. We also manage US$445 billion in assets that use ESG integration and other enhancements.



Achieve additional responsibility objectives, such as climate resilience, ESG improvement or best-in-class allocations. These portfolios adopt a range of strategies to improve management of ESG issues and fall into one of the following three subcategories; Climate Conscious, ESG Leaders and Change Catalysts.


Identify environmental or social challenges presented by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and target investment in issuers that provide products or services to tackle them. Prominent themes include climate, health and empowerment.


Invest in issuers that might provide a positive and measurable impact on society or the environment.


UN SDGS: A Road Map for Investors 

In recent years, severe weather damage, the global pandemic, and political, economic, and social unrest have made ESG issues more tangible, fueling a global movement around taking responsibility for addressing these challenges.

Sustainable development involves finding solutions to these critical challenges. Directing capital to businesses providing solutions to these issues can provide investors with exposure to fast-growing industries that may help to preserve and, ultimately, increase their wealth.

The United Nations (UN) established the SDGs as a powerful framework of 17 goals to help countries address the challenges of economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and social inclusion. They represent an aspirational view of what the world can look like by 2030. We believe the UN SDGs can help investors connect the world’s crises with actionable investment themes, serving as a road map for translating sustainability issues into investible opportunities.

Based on this mind-set, we’ve developed a practical framework focused on four themes: climate, health, empowerment, as well as strong institutions for sovereigns.


Sustainable Themes


Efforts to stem climate change are gaining momentum around the world. Many consumers, businesses and policymakers are recognizing the need for change.

  • Cleaner energy
  • Resource efficiency
  • Sanitation and recycling
  • Sustainable transportation
Single windmill with sunset in background


Healthcare spending is rising, and people are living longer, which raises complex issues for access to high-quality and affordable medicine and long-term care.

  • Access to quality care
  • Food security and clean water
  • Medical innovation
  • Well-Being
Two people holding hands sitting across from each other


Many sectors of society are marginalized by economic and social forces. Physical and technological infrastructure is needed to enable sustainable economic development, employment growth, poverty eradication and social inclusion.

  • Education and employment services
  • Financial security and inclusion
  • Information and communication
  • Sustainable infrastructure
Women with dark hair and skin driving a truck

Strong Institutions

Responsible sovereigns provide the foundation for the private sector to innovate and for effective and accountable public policymaking.

  • Freedom and fundamental rights
  • Anti-corruption and government
  • Law and order
Upwards view of decorative columns on a white building









Proxy Season Reports


As a registered investment advisor, AllianceBernstein L.P. ("AB", "we" or "us") has a fiduciary duty to act solely in the best interests of our clients. We recognize that this duty requires us to vote client securities in a timely manner and make voting decisions that are in the best interests of our clients. Consistent with these obligations, we will disclose our clients' voting records only to them and as required by mutual fund vote disclosure regulations. In addition, the proxy committees may, after careful consideration, choose to respond to surveys regarding past votes.

This statement is intended to comply with Rule 206(4)-6 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. It sets forth our policies and procedures for voting proxies for our discretionary investment advisory clients, including investment companies registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940. This statement applies to AB's investment groups investing on behalf of clients in both US and non-US securities.


Performance Tables


Full-Time/Part-Time Female % Female Male % Male Grand Total % of Total
Full-Time 1,580 38 2,602 62 4,182 99
Part-Time 24 83 5 17 29 1
Total 1,604 38 2,607 62 4,211 100

Region Female % Female Male % Male Grand Total % of Total
Americas 1,111 36 2,006 64 3,117 74
Asia ex Japan 231 51 221 49 452 11
EMEA 206 38 338 62 544 13
Japan 56 57 42 43 98 2
Total 1,604 38 2,607 62 4,211 100

Exempt vs. Nonexempt Female % Female Male % Male Grand Total % of Total
Exempt 1,468 37 2,541 63 4009 95
Nonexempt 136 67 66 33 202 5
Total 1604 38 2607 62 4,211 100

Data is as of December 31, 2022.

  Gender Hispanic or Latino (United States of America) White (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) Black or African American (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) Asian (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) American Indian or Alaska Native (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) Two or More Races (Not Hispanic or Latino) (United States of America) Grand Total
Executive/Senior Officials and Managers Female - 4 1 - - - - 5
Male - 12 - - 1 - - 13
First/Mid Officials and Managers Female 13 127 8 - 31 - 5 184
Male 17 358 8 - 77 1 5 466
Professionals Female 72 230 40 - 85 1 4 432
Male 66 422 46 - 206 1 13 754
Sales Workers Female 13 282 17 1 41 - 8 362
Male 44 531 40 1 51 4 17 688
Administrative Support Female 36 58 15 - 6 - 3 118
Male 26 25 6 - 3 - 1 61
Grand Total   287 2,049 181 2 501 7 56 3,083

There are 31 employees that did not declare ethnicity and 12 employees that did not declare gender. Data is as of December 31, 2022. 


  2019 2020 2021
  Consumption Emissions Consumption Emissions Consumption Emissions
Scope 1
956,250.00 ft3 53.30 tCO2e 924,062.00 ft3 51.50 tCO2e 311,856.00 ft3 18.10 tCO2e
Scope 2
14,235,500.00 kwh 4,466.00 tCO2e 12,176,273.00 kwh 3,972.00 tCO2e 14,674,836.00 kwh 4,944.00 tCO2e
Scope 3
Air & Rail Business Travel
37,579,226.00 miles 7,485.00 tCO2e 7,371,440.00 miles 1,308.00 tCO2e 3,535,997.00 miles 577.00 tCO2e
Occupancy 3,512 people 3,877 people 4,129 people
Area 1,143,766.00 Sq. ft. of AB footprint 1,365,206.00 Sq. ft. of AB footprint 1,269,615.00 Sq. ft. of AB footprint
Total emissions   12,004.30 tCO2e   5,331.50 tCO2e   5,539.10 tCO2e
Total per square ft   0.01050 tCO2e/total sq. ft.   0.00391 tCO2e/total sq. ft.   0.00436 tCO2e/total sq. ft.
Total per capita   3.42 tCO2e/person   1.38 tCO2e/person   1.34 tCO2e/person

Data is as of December 31, 2021


  2019 2020 2021 2022
Charitable Contributions 2,009,822 1,849,641 2,897,254 2,324,665
Matching Gifts—US 3,116,254 2,765,289 2,219,130 2,402,311
Matching Gifts—Non-US 100,781 165,429 128,488 169,048
Total  5,226,857 4,780,359 5,244,872 4,896,024

Data is as of December 31, 2022.


  Female Male Non-Binary Did not disclose gender
Gender Identity 3 8 0 0
Demographic Background
African American or Black 0 1 0 0
Alaskan Native or Native American 0 0 0 0
Asian 0 1 0 0
Hispanic or Latinx 0 0 0 0
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0 0 0 0
White 3 6 0 0
Two or More Races or Ethnicities 0 0 0 0
Directors Born Outside of the US
1 0 0
Did not disclose demographic background 0

As of December 31, 2022.


Shareholder Rights Directive II (SRD II) Disclosures

The SRD II aims to encourage long-term shareholder engagement and transparency between traded companies and investors. Asset managers and institutional investors can play a vital role in the responsible stewardship of assets.


Transparency in Coverage