Author: Dale Wannen
The divestment train has left the station. It’s hard to pass a headline that doesn’t include the words ‘divestment’ and ‘foundation’ in the same sentence these days.
Sustainable and responsible investing is an investment discipline that considers environmental, social and corporate governance criteria (ESG) to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact.
Vote with your investments. You determine whether a company that is polluting the water or treating its employees poorly is in your list of stocks or your fund. Align your investments with your principles and in due time, sustainable and responsible investing will be the norm.
Coca-Cola is being sued over their advertising campaign that holds vitaminwater up as a healthy drink (which it isn’t). The beverage giant’s surprising defense is that “no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitamin water was a healthy beverage.”
The largest maker of packaged goods in the world, Procter and Gamble, held a shareholder vote on adopting Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policies to dispose of packaging. Shareholder support was underwhelming at 5.8 percent, but it was enough to get it on the ballot for next year.
Goldman Sachs has invested $9.6 million into the nation’s first ever Social Impact Bond or SIB. This bond addresses the recidivism rates in NYC prisons and will be used to help train and counsel at-risk incarcerated youths.
As an advocate of shareholder activism, I seldom see more than one or two shareholder proposals on proxy statements. However, yesterday’s JP Morgan shareholder meeting contained 7 shareholder proposals and had me smiling like a kid in a candy store. Now this is what shareholder advocacy is supposed to look like. Considering the bank’s recent lost bet of $2 billion in derivative trading, this is an opportune time to perhaps take a brief look at what small and big shareholders were advocating for at one of the world’s largest banks:
Realizing the pressure of a recent shareholder resolution, Goldman Sachs was able to get the largest public employee and health care workers’ union in the country, AFSCME, to pull their proposal regarding Lloyd Blankfein’s role as both CEO and chairman of the board. In lieu of yanking the proposal, Goldman will change its board structure and appoint a “lead director” to its board.
Corporations and governments around the world took notice of the power of the masses in 2011 with the Occupy movement taking center stage. But behind the scene, investors used the power of their proxy and sent strong messages to executives and board members in record numbers to advocate for change at the companies they invest in.
Shareholders for the past year have been able to engage in the conversation of executive pay through a resolution placed on proxy statements of all companies due to the recently implemented Dodd-Frank bill. Allowing owners of publicly traded companies to vote on such an important matter would seem to shift things in a positive direction. Right? Wrong.
Harrington Investments, Inc., an investment advisory firm specializing in socially responsible investing, announced today that it is divesting its entire holding in Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) due to the corporation’s poor environmental record and its lack of accountability to shareholders.
On a typical cold and rainy morning in Seattle this week, Microsoft shareholders, board members and executives gathered for the annual shareholders meeting to discuss the trials of the previous year, along with prospects of the future. This is the shareholders’ only time to speak their minds directly to Bill Gates, and only one shareholder … Continued
Imagine living in a country where you have no access to student loans. In the U.S. that seems almost impossible as the Obama Administration pours loads of cash into the hands of those eager enough to pursue a degree and all the Dominos pizza that comes with it. In fact, a recent overhaul of the student loan program in the states makes it even more accessible for young Americans to enter college. In countries less fortunate, your options are very limited as far as attending university. Imagine a vehicle in which people from all over the world would be able to donate as little as $25 towards individuals wishing to pursue higher learning. Imagine no further. Kiva, the pioneer in micro-lending for entrepreneurs in less fortunate countries that has loaned more than $150 million to 408,000 entrepreneurs in 53 countries, has entered the student lending business.