Franklin Templeton has launched its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report in recognition of the firm’s long-standing belief that being a responsible corporate citizen is vital to the long-term sustainability of its business, in addition to the well-being of the communities in which its employees live and work. Franklin Templeton has established specific goals for fiscal year 2021 focused on three areas: environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing; the environment; and diversity and inclusion (D&I).
“The events of the past year, including the global pandemic and ongoing racial and social injustices, have further reinforced the importance of global citizenship both as a business imperative and as part of our responsibility as industry leaders,” said Jenny Johnson, President and CEO. “At Franklin Templeton, we have embedded principles of corporate citizenship into our company culture and our investment strategy. While there is more work to be done, we continue to make important strides to keep these values at the core of what we do for our stockholders, clients, employees and communities.”
Franklin Templeton has established goals and key priorities for fiscal year 2021 within the following focus areas:
- ESG investing: In March 2021, the firm launched its Stewardship and Sustainability Council to guide the continued evolution of ESG infrastructure and best practices. It also published its Stewardship Report, which details its active ownership approach, such as proxy voting and engagement activities.
- D&I: The firm plans to publicly disclose gender and ethnicity representation data as per the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Information Report, known as EEO-1. It also plans to invest in female and Black entrepreneurs and expand strategies to increase the attraction, recruitment and development of underrepresented employees, including a focus on further building inclusive leadership capabilities.
- Environment: As it continues to work to reduce its emissions, Franklin Templeton will expand its Scope 3 emissions reporting, set emissions targets and launch an Environmental Committee to advance existing green initiatives.
CSR Report Highlights
The report is organized around Franklin Templeton’s six dimensions of CSR. In addition to ESG investing, the environment and D&I, this includes employee experience; community engagement; and responsible corporate practices.
“We are proud to continue to develop our CSR reporting as we grow in this critical space, expanding and adapting our corporate citizenship platform and initiatives along the way,” said Kristin Kosmides, Head of Global Citizenship, who led Legg Mason’s CSR function from 2008 until its acquisition by Franklin Templeton in July 2020. “In addition to helping us coalesce around our shared values, the joining of these two companies has allowed us to solidify our approach and work together to build an even stronger corporate citizenship framework.”
Highlights of Franklin Templeton’s CSR efforts include the following:
- The firm is a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), a set of six investment principles that offer ways to incorporate ESG issues into investment practice. All its specialist independent organizations – Brandywine Global, Clarion Partners, ClearBridge Investments, Martin Currie, Royce Investment Partners, and Western Asset Management – are PRI signatories in their own right, as is Edinburgh Partners.
- With the addition of Regina Curry, Franklin Templeton’s first chief diversity officer, who held that role with Legg Mason, the firm has recommitted to the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion and joined Connecticut’s corporate call to action to address economic and racial disparities.
- The firm is a signatory of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and an investor signatory and participant in the rigorous Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) annually.
- Franklin Templeton’s CSR efforts are aligned with selected metrics from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and the report provides disclosures to stockholders, investors and other key stakeholders based on those selected metrics. SASB is an independent nonprofit organization that sets standards to guide companies in the disclosure of financially material sustainability information. Franklin Templeton is providing information in accordance with certain standards SASB has identified for the Asset Management and Custody Activities segment of the Financials sector.
Franklin Templeton’s CSR Report is available here.