Though I’ve been a social activist for many years, shareholder advocacy is a new arena for me. As the Founder and Executive Director of Invoking the Pause, an environmental grants program, I’ve worked to advance public awareness and engagement about climate change issues for years. We have used our funds to give artists and activists the ‘pause’ they need to complete their worthy work. I am a retired corporate lawyer, and have always believed that corporations have responsibility for their impact on the world and the environment. But before I was introduced to As You Sow, I didn’t completely realize how much power I had as a shareholder to affect the companies I own.
Since meeting As You Sow CEO Andrew Behar last year, we have worked together to file a resolution on beverage container recycling at Dr Pepper Snapple Group. In addition, Invoking the Pause’s partnership with the Presidio Graduate School of Sustainability in San Francisco led me to fund a Fellowship for a graduate student currently working on As You Sow’s upcoming survey of recyclable packaging at fast food, beverage, and packaged food companies. Though I’ve traditionally worked on climate issues, I know that unrecyclable packaging is a tremendous waste of energy and creates unnecessary emissions. As John Muir said, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
Getting involved with As You Sow’s shareholder advocacy has introduced me to a new way I can create positive change. I ask myself, how can I best work to create a world that reflects beauty, harmony in nature, and harmony among beings? For me, it is using my time, talent, and financial resources to engage in environmental activism. I’m looking forward to partnering with As You Sow again, and continuing to use my power as a shareholder to get companies to behave more responsibly and sustainably.