Legg Mason redefines approach to corporate social responsibility
Company focuses on six dimensions, releases new report
Legg Mason, Inc. has redefined its approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) by focusing on six dimensions that are central to the company’s mission of “Investing to Improve Lives”.
“We have long recognized that CSR plays a vital role in our mission. Today’s announcement signifies our focus on six areas in which we believe we can build momentum and make a meaningful difference,” said Joseph A. Sullivan, Chairman and CEO of Legg Mason.
Legg Mason recognizes six dimensions of CSR:
• ESG investing,
• Diversity and inclusion,
• Employee experience,
• Community engagement, and
• Responsible corporate practices.
A natural component of Legg Mason’s CSR program is a focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. In fact, ESG has been a crucial part of Legg Mason’s investment approach for decades, beginning in 1987 when affiliate ClearBridge Investments launched a dedicated ESG investing program.
Nearly US$300 billion – or over 40% – of Legg Mason’s long-term assets under management (AUM) were invested in strategies that utilize ESG factors as part of the investment process as of the fiscal year-end on March 31 2019.
In addition, the firm has identified diversity and inclusion (D&I) as a corporate strategic priority and taken steps to accelerate its progress on D&I initiatives. A key milestone was the addition of the firm’s first chief diversity officer, Regina Curry, in January 2018 as a direct report to the CEO.
Legg Mason’s newly released CSR Report provides details about its D&I initiatives as well as highlights of each of the other dimensions. Those highlights include the ESG investing approach of each affiliate; the results of a program to drastically reduce the volume of waste produced; and updates on corporate governance, cybersecurity and data privacy, among others.
“We view CSR as the umbrella framework that connects, aligns and advances our work,” said Patty Lattin, Legg Mason’s chief human resources officer, who oversees the firm’s CSR function.
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