We study private shareholder engagements with 2,465 listed firms about environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues from 2007 to 2020. We examine the extent to which private engagements address financially material ESG issues and contribute to firm performance. We find that material engagements succeed more often than immaterial engagements and that the targets of successful material engagements significantly outperform their peers by 2.5% over the next 14months. Further, we find that material engagements are more often associated with improvements in profitability and cost ratios than immaterial engagements. Finally, our evidence indicates that a decrease in CO2e emission intensity accompanies environmental engagements.

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