Proxy Season Wrap-up 2017: Shareholders are Stepping Up

This proxy season was nothing short of historic, with the most environmental and social resolutions ever filed and investor support at record levels. Shareholders achieved majority votes on climate change resolutions at Exxon and Occidental Petroleum — companies that have never seen majority support for any resolution — with unprecedented support from mutual funds like Vanguard, BlackRock, and State Street. The shareholder community is making its voice heard at an entirely new and courageous level — and As You Sow is leading the way, with over 50 resolutions filed and a strong public presence. Our resolutions accounted for over 10% of the 430 environmental and social resolutions filed, and we earned shareholder support totaling over $330 billion. We withdrew a record 21 resolutions in exchange for commitments for substantive action, as companies across our program areas chose to work with us rather than go to a vote. We secured tangible progress from companies ranging from Unilever (making all its plastic packaging recyclable) to Target (eliminating polystyrene foam as a packing material) to KFC, Wendy’s, & Burger King (sourcing only chicken not treated with medically important antibiotics); and on the energy front, from Southern Company (assess and disclose carbon asset risk information); NRG, Sempra, & Southern Co. (improve methane disclosures); and Morgan Stanley & Goldman Sachs (work with shareholders to consider energy projects’ impact on indigenous and human rights). That’s just the beginning — we’ll keep on pushing corporations toward business practices that are healthier, cleaner, more productive, and more efficient.