The Impact of Shareholder Activism

shares.jpgThe idea behind “shareholder activism” is that the sharehodlers of a company excercise their influence to effect policy changes at the corporate level that reflect environmenatal, social or any other issue. It’s really a very neat way of going about it because, as owners of the company, shareholders have every right to have their voice heard, and arguably have a more effective voice than those outside the company.

This is an interesting article in E magazine that outlines some of the basics. In particular the article talks about Green Century funds who have persuaded companies such as Whole Foods and Apple Computer to take more proactive steps toward environmental transparency and better recycling policies. And why not? In the long term sense that sort of policy is bound to benefit the shareholders and general public alike by providing for a better environment – if not also producing better returns financially.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

2 responses

  1. My IRA’s at Green Century :) It’s cool cuz their website details all the stuff they’re doing and planning to do in terms of shareholder advocacy though.
    Still, I wonder where you can draw the line — I’d be a lil shocked if Green Century decided to invest in Walmart, say…

  2. My apologies for the shameless plug-of-a-comment to this story. My firm, First Sustainable, caters to socially responsible investors. We provide the latest data on proxies, resolutions, and so forth that can help shareholders make their voices known. Not to denigrate Green Century’s good work, but the problem with SRI mutual funds is that you have to buy in to someone else’s definition of social responsibility.
    Mark Brandon
    Sustainable Log – News and Views for Socially Responsible Investors
    When you subscribe to Sustainable Log, we give $1 to Alternative Gifts International in support of a cause of your choice.

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