Wow! What a year it’s been! It’s always exhilarating to negotiate with corporations and stand tall in their annual meetings — and watch these same corporations change from the inside out. That’s the best part of my job, but honestly, this year was truly powerful.
At As You Sow, we get big corporations to make big changes, to protect your health and environment. This year we filed 35 shareholder resolutions with 33 companies, seeking real change on a range of issues from climate change to human health to outrageous corporate pay. Shareholders voted with us to the tune of nearly $387 billion in shareholder value! Together, these votes and that support push corporations toward a cleaner, healthier, more just future.
This year we moved some giants:
- Abbott Laboratories, after three years of engagement by As You Sow, agreed to offer a GMO-free version of its top-selling Similac Infant Formula, and it’s in stores now
- Dunkin’ Donuts committed to removing the nanomaterial titanium dioxide from its powdered sugar doughnuts, avoiding the potential health harms from these microscopically small particles
- Disney committed not to show images of smoking in its youth-rated movies
- General Mills became the first major packaged foods company to agree to implement policies protecting bees and other pollinators from the impacts of pesticides
- We asked ExxonMobil and Chevron to leave the oil in the ground and return dividends to shareholders instead of wasting billions chasing high risk, high carbon oil that can’t be burned without catastrophic human and environmental consequences
We back up our shareholder work with ground-breaking research. This year, our reports on the 100 most overpaid CEOs, on packaging sustainability, and on green bonds for municipal energy, water, and transportation infrastructure received wide acclaim and the most downloads in our 23 year history.
We exposed heavy metals, like lead and cadmium, lurking in chocolate, seaweed, and protein powders through our legal and media work and demanded companies reformulate or label their products.
This year, we teamed up with Morningstar, one of the most trustworthy research and analytical firms on Wall Street, to shine a light on the fossil fuels hidden in mutual funds. If you own mutual funds, you probably own fossil fuels, and you probably don’t know it. Fossil Free Funds shows you what fossil fuel stocks are hiding in the most common mutual funds, so you can know what you own and find cleaner, greener alternatives. You can find it at www.fossilfreefunds.org — take a look, and join us in the transition to a clean energy future.
As exciting as all this is, it’s nothing compared to the plans we have for next year!
We’re particularly excited about Exxon and Chevron. Oil executives get bonuses based on how much oil they discover, which is why it’s difficult to get them to stop exploring for more oil. We’re going to propose that instead of barrels of oil, oil execs are judged in units of energy — so that wind, solar, and other renewables count. These resolutions could be a real game-changer in reforming incentives and allowing Wall Street to value fossil fuel companies that are figuring out how to evolve into energy companies and lead a clean energy future.
Thank you for your continued support of As You Sow as we make the protection of your health and the environment a central part of corporate decision making. Please feel free to share this with your networks and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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