A key tenet of socially responsible investing is the voting of proxies. Proxy voting gives shareholders a say in the workings of corporations, allowing those who own the company to decide on matters of corporate governance. Reviewing both company and shareholder sponsored resolutions is critical in supporting good governance and effective socially responsible practices.
ICCR recently published their 2018 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide (download here). This annual Guide has been published since 1974. This year’s Guide outlines the proxy season, contextualizes the 10 issue areas, and provides the language of the 266 resolutions that were filed by ICCR members. It also describes shareholder advocacy and the proxy process (pg 213). They hosted a webinar (slides here; listen here) to provide an overview of the proxy season and profile a few of most important campaigns including: gender pay gap and paid family leave; ethical labor recruitment; methane emissions; pollinator decline; and drug pricing and the opioid crisis. ICCR members have already negotiated 33 substantive agreements with companies, and have withdrawn their resolutions as a result. Successes include:
- Costco agreed to disclose its gender and race-based pay gaps;
- T. Rowe Price has hired a new responsible investing official;
- AT&T agreed to its first-ever disclosure on key sustainability goals;
- Marten and Saia agreed to begin training their drivers to spot human trafficking;
- WEC Energy Group agreed to prepare a 2 degree scenario assessment report (led by School Sisters of Notre Dame).
You are encouraged to use ICCR’s Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide to vote your proxies or to ask your asset manager to vote them for you.