Our management and board of directors seek to be transparent and responsive to shareholders’ concerns and to deliver competitive returns.
We view meaningful shareholder engagement as an important component of our success, so we involve Devon subject-matter experts as necessary to address the issues of concern to our shareholders. Through our engagements, we’ve learned that our performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters is increasingly a factor in investment decisions. As a result, we are taking action and working to share our results more effectively.
Devon shareholders voted on four ESG-related shareholder proposals at our annual shareholders meeting in 2017. While none of the proposals received a majority vote, we took action to increase transparency and disclosures on our activities and performance. One of these steps was to form the ESG Steering Committee to improve and ensure the company’s responsiveness to ESG matters. The committee supports Devon’s commitment to transparency and assists the management team in setting ESG strategy and overseeing communications with stakeholders. Employees on the committee come from disciplines ranging from environmental management and legal to operations, human resources and investor relations.
As part of its role, the committee has overseen a number of activities aimed at increasing transparency. For example, it was instrumental in making our commitment to complete a climate change assessment by year-end 2018 on the impact of various scenarios informed by global climate change policies. The ESG Committee also recommended publishing the 2017 Political Activity and Lobbying Report and adding disclosures to our website. To further improve transparency and make it easier for stakeholders to benchmark our performance, we added Sustainalytics and Institutional Shareholder Services’ (ISS) first environmental and social scoring system to the ESG-focused surveys and assessments in which we concentrate our efforts.
Devon received proposals for shareholder consideration and voting at the 2018 annual meeting. After company leaders engaged in dialogue with the proponents, all but one of the proposals was withdrawn. In some cases, proposals converged with our existing activities or a shift in approach, which helped satisfy a proponent’s request.
Devon’s ESG Committee continues to guide engagements and activities that will deliver on our commitments to various stakeholder groups.