Seventh Generation Interfaith Executive Director Fr. Mike Crosby is cited in historic shareholder resolution requiring ExxonMobil to report its greenhouse gas emission rates to corporate shareholders.
ExxonMobil management was defeated Wednesday by a shareholder rebellion over climate change, as investors with 62.3 percent of shares voted to instruct the oil giant to report on the impact of global measures designed to keep climate change to 2 degrees centigrade.
The TJX Companies, which includes well-known discount chains of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods, is the leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the U.S. …and worldwide. They claim 40 years of sales and earnings growth to the satisfaction of their shareholders. But not all shareholders are happy. “TJX maintains one of the largest pay gaps in America,” said Mark Peters, Director of Justice, Peace and Reconciliation for the Priests of the Sacred Heart. “As public scrutiny of the gap between CEO and worker pay increases, TJX may be risking the health of its labor force and the reputation of its brand.”
Mark filed a shareholder resolution with TJX concerning their executive pay policies and the widening pay gap with their workers for the third year in a row (see proxy memo). “The company’s proxy states that developing and retaining talent is a key component of their continued success. But this attention should not be limited to their executives. Their Associates’ pay has stagnated while executive compensation packages continue to escalate. Long term, this hurts the company and society.”
CEO pay has grew by almost 1000% over the past 40 years, greatly outpacing the growth in the cost of living, the productivity of the economy, and the stock market. This disproves the claim that the growth in CEO pay reflects the performance of the company, the value of its stock, or the ability of the CEO to do anything but disproportionately raise the amount of his pay (Economic Policy Institute).
Beginning in 2018, a Dodd-Frank Act provision requires companies to report the ratio of the CEO’s total compensation and that of their median employee. While the Trump administration is reviewing this requirement as too burdensome, Mark believes that it is not enough. “Shareholders need a historic view of this ratio and board’s informed view on whether the CEO-to-worker pay gap comes at the expense of the health of the Company’s human capital and long term shareholder value.”
Demonstrating strong investor opposition to special interest efforts to weaken key elements of the shareholder resolution process (SEC rule 14a-8), a group of leading investor organizations representing $65 trillion in assets wrote last week to the Trump administration urging support for the SEC’s existing shareholder proposal process, which is providing wide-ranging benefits.
Seventh Generation Interfaith members engage companies to promote responsible sourcing and eliminate deforestation impacts of their supply chain. Forest Trends, an international NGO whose mission is to conserve forests and other ecosystems through the creation and wide adoption of a broad range of environmental finance, markets, and other payment and incentive mechanisms, has released “Supply Change:
Tracking Corporate Commitments to Deforestation-Free Supply Chains, 2017.” The report tracks companies, their commitments, and their progress towards these commitments over time to support stakeholders’ decision-making and, ultimately, to drive transformational change. A press release and the report are available on the Web.
Seventh Generation Interfaith members Congregation of St. Agnes, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Dana Investment Advisers, Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order, Racine Dominican Sisters, Priests of the Sacred Heart (U.S. Province), School Sisters of St. Francis, and Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, joined over 100 institutional investors in a letter to the SEC in support of maintaining existing CEO-to-worker pay ratio disclosure requirements.
Accompanying photo used with permission, Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility