Vanguard’s ship will sink

Vanguard is the second-largest asset manager in the world, commanding over $8 trillion in assets under management (AUM). It is one of the largest shareholders in nearly every public company in the U.S. With that immense power comes great responsibility, which Vanguard is evading – and it's trailing behind the rest of the financial industry.

Leaving us high and dry

Vanguard says that mitigating climate risk is a priority, but its corporate practices tell a very different story. Vanguard’s voting record, its failure to prioritize engagement with the heaviest emitters, and its pitiful number of sustainable funds reveal the truth: Vanguard is neither a safe nor a smart choice. It has over $300 billion invested in fossil fuels (the leading cause of climate chaos) and blindly invests in projects that harm Indigenous and frontline communities.

Vanguard is in deep water

A recent report showed that Vanguard could lose at least $3 trillion by 2050 if it fails to act on the climate crisis. And it's falling further and further behind. For example, Vanguard’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) funds represent only 0.38% of its total AUM. Across the board, its climate actions lag far behind even slow-moving peers like BlackRock and State Street.

A history of inaction on climate

of its $8.1 trillion invested in more sustainable ESG funds
in coal industry investments. A full 8.6% of all global institutional coal holdings
Voted against every climate resolution proposed by Climate Action 100+ in 2020
In a new report ranking major asset managers on their climate commitments, Vanguard received the worst possible score: 0 out of 30

Ignoring economic and climate breakdown

Vanguard uses its opaque corporate structure to avoid responsibility for its impact. Vanguard claims that its customers own the company, but in reality, that just means the firm isn’t accountable to anyone outside its own leadership. It has enormous economic influence over nearly all the companies making the climate crisis worse. Vanguard has the power to stop financing fossil fuel expansion, starting with coal.

Unfortunately, leaders like CEO Tim Buckley are either unwilling to rock the boat, or they're asleep at the wheel. Vanguard needs bold leadership to dodge the most dangerous iceberg the world has ever seen. Is anyone steering the ship?

Learn more about climate and asset managers

How asset managers fuel the climate crisis

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Explore big finance's climate problems

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