As announced, Deka Investment GmbH also made even more intensive use of Annual General Meetings to provide impetus for sustainable corporate management. In 2017, Deka Investment actively voted at 314 Annual General Meetings. The fact that Deka Investment GmbH voted against the proposals of company management on more than 30 per cent of the average agenda items shows that it is much more critical of its role as an active shareholder. In the previous year, the share had still been 20 percent. Representatives of Deka Investment spoke at nine Annual General Meetings. In the future, this forum will be used even more intensively to deal constructively, critically and with a long-term perspective with the business model and corporate management. In addition to strategy, earnings and finances, issues of good corporate governance and social and environmental issues will play a role.
In 2017, analysts and fund managers of Deka Investment GmbH had more than 1,500 contacts with companies. In addition to corporate governance issues, social and environmental aspects of the business activities were regularly addressed, depending on the industry and business model of the respective company. In cases where Deka analysts come across deficits in dealing with the principles of sustainable development in their company analyses, these are addressed in direct contact with the companies.
Deka Investment GmbH plans to further expand its activities at Annual General Meetings in 2018. In addition to the topic of corporate governance, special attention will be paid to the topics of climate strategy, digitization and cyber security, among others.
We continue to develop Deka Group's sustainable corporate governance with the same conviction with which we demand that companies comply with social, environmental and corporate governance standards. An important step here was the integration of our sustainability strategy into our business strategy in 2014. 2016 saw us define key points and formulate ambitious goals for the five key areas of action described in this report.
Following the decisions of the Paris Climate Conference of December 2015 and the agreement to limit global temperature increases to a maximum of two degrees Celsius, we attach particular importance to the issue of climate change in our current business strategy. We are convinced that even the critical comments on climate change and climate protection policy that we are currently hearing from various senders do not change the need to commit ourselves to climate protection. Nevertheless, they can have an impact on the international framework conditions and schedules. We will monitor these developments and analyse them with regard to possible effects on our business activities.
At the end of 2017, we invested around EUR 28.3 billion, taking into account social, environmental and corporate governance criteria. This figure includes more than ten billion euros from our private and institutional clients, for whom we have continuously expanded our range of sustainable investment solutions in recent years. The sustainability filter introduced for our own investments in 2014 has proven itself in practice. The filter excludes companies with controversial business activities from investment.
Sustainability analysts also rated us positively in 2017 for this special commitment in the area of sustainable investments, but also for our comprehensive services in the other areas of our sustainability management. We are particularly pleased that the renowned sustainability rating agency oekom research has once again awarded us the coveted oekom Prime Status. It is only awarded to companies that meet the agency's strict requirements for comprehensive sustainability management. With a rating of C+, Deka Group is ranked in the top 10 of the 92 companies in the peer group. The ratings imug and MSCI ESG, which are also significantly above average, were successfully confirmed in the year under review by the rating agencies specialising in sustainability aspects.
Sustainability Report 2017 - Deka reports for the first time in accordance with the new CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG)
The regulatory framework for sustainability reporting changed fundamentally in the year under review. With the adoption of the CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG) by the Bundestag and Bundesrat in the spring of 2017, the German Commercial Code (HGB) was amended to the effect that, pursuant to Section 289b HGB, larger capital market-oriented companies have been obliged to publish a so-called non-financial declaration every year since the beginning of 2017. Deka Group is meeting this new commitment with this Sustainability Report based on the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The report also provides information on how we are making progress in implementing the ten principles of the UN Global Compact on which we have already committed ourselves in 2011.
In the year under review, Deka Group signed the UN Women´s Empowerment Principles, a strong signal to promote female employees in the Deka Group. We are also pleased that external sustainability rating agencies confirm our leading role in the industry. We are particularly pleased that the globally active agency Sustainalytics has raised its rating significantly and now ranks the Deka Group in the best possible category "Leader" for the first time. This positive evaluation strengthens our role as a dialogue partner with our stakeholders to jointly advance the topic of sustainability. In the year under review, Deka Investment GmbH provided increased impetus for sustainable corporate management at a large number of Annual General Meetings. Last but not least, Deka's sustainable investments reached record levels in the year under review. As of 31.12.2017, for example, the Deka Group managed around €28 billion using ESG criteria.
Independent rating agencies confirm the implementation of sustainability programmes at DekaBank