shareholder activism

Shareholder Activism is the process of dialogue with company executives and filing shareholder resolutions generates investor pressure on corporate executives, garners media attention (which adds even more pressure on corporations to improve their behavior), and educates the public on often-ignored social, environmental, and labor issues. The process has served as a powerful tool to encourage corporate turnaround in social and environmental policies. Ultimately, this can lead to a more sustainable company.

Shareholder activism, also known as shareholder advocacy, first gained momentum during the 1970s when religious investors formed a coalition (the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility) to advocate for socially responsible changes in corporate policies.

exxonmobil_greenpeace

Will ExxonMobil Adapt to Climate Change? Not Likely

Don't expect much from ExxonMobil with regards to adapting to climate change.
urban outfitters

Urban Outfitters to Appoint CEO’s Wife to Board

Women should be on corporate boards for what they bring to the table, not as a token appointment. Urban Outfitters' recent elevation of…
Shareholders say McDonald's targeting of children through products like Happy Meals has contributed to childhood obesity.

McDonald’s Shareholders Vote on Marketing Unwholesome Food

A resolution at the McDonald's annual shareholder meeting today will seek to prevent the fast food giant from marketing unhealthy food to children.…
shareholders protest oil and natural gas fracking

Shareholders Press for More Disclosure from Fracking Companies

For the fourth year in a row, a group of shareholders is pressing oil and gas companies to disclose fracking risks and impacts,…
Deadly factory disasters in Bangladesh, like this one that took place on April 25 in Savar, have spurred global apparel companies to improve safety.

Multinationals Agree to Safety Accord for Bangladeshi Factories

In the wake of the Rana Plaza factory fire in Bangladesh last month that killed over 1,100 workers in the deadliest industrial accident…
Musk and Sacks quit Facebook

Facebook CEO Plays With Fire, Gets Burned

Barely one month after it launched its first advocacy campaign, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's new Fwd.us political action committee has already shed two…
impact investing

The Rise of Impact Investment

Awareness of the need for new ways of investing is growing, and there are some tentative signs that it is having some impact…
dunkin-donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts Commits to 100% Sustainable Palm Oil

Another major food company joined the ranks of companies with commitments to buy 100 percent sustainably sourced palm oil. The company is Dunkin'…
2013 Social and Environmental Proposals Filed

Political Spending, Climate Change Dominate Shareholder Proposals

The CEO of As You Sow share what's on the minds of responsible investors this season.
JPM

Shareholder Resolutions Flourish at JP Morgan Meeting

As an advocate of shareholder activism, I seldom see more than one or two shareholder proposals on proxy statements. However, yesterday’s JP Morgan…

Paying Attention to Risks Pays Dividends to Sustainable Investors

Risks associated with employee turnover, staff diversity or plant emissions all impact shareholder value – because they are leading indicators of profitability.
coal-miner

Can Shareholder Activism Spur Electric Utilities to Shift Away from Coal?

Some of the largest US electric utilities in the use are facing shareholder proxy votes calling on them to enact and report on…

Goldman Sachs Loses Battle with Largest Public Union in U.S.

Realizing the pressure of a recent shareholder resolution, Goldman Sachs was able to get the largest public employee and health care workers’ union…
Proxy Preview 2012

2012 Shareholder Resolutions Address Corporate Political Power

For decades shareholder advocates have been changing corporate behavior from the inside. They have challenged companies and shown them that doing good is…
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Humane Society Makes Strategic Stock Purchase in Major Fast Food Chain

In recent years, advocacy organizations like Greenpeace, PETA, and others have been able to leverage the stakeholder engagement trend and the power of social media to focus…