The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) has released its 2013 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide. The guides, which feature 180 resolutions filed at 127 companies, calls on shareholders to help promote corporate responsibility by voting their proxies in support of ICCR member proposals that advance social, economic and environmental justice.
The largest number of resolutions pertain to lobbying and political spending. The single most endorsed resolution calls on ExxonMobil to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The proxy resolution guide is used to bring issues of concern to stockholders. "The influence of shareholders is enormous,” Laura Berry, ICCR's executive director, said in a press release. “The proxy season brings this into high relief as shareholder votes are solicited on questions of corporate governance, and social and environmental impacts. As more shareholders exert their influence via the proxy voting process, progress on issues accelerates."
With 52 proposals focused on lobbying and political spending, ICCR members are pressing companies with the message that shareholders have a right to know whether a company’s resources are being used to impact elections and public policy.
Other proposals address concerns around human rights, supply chain accountability, financial practices, access to health care, food and water sustainability, environmental health, and promoting good corporate governance. ICCR members are asking for greater shareholder engagement to help promote corporate practices that ensure long-term business growth while measurably improving environmental and social impacts.
The resolution calling for ExxonMobil to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions was filed by a combination of 34 investor groups including congregations, foundations, hospitals, and asset management companies. It asks ExxonMobil to "adopt quantitative goals for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from the Company's products and operations."
There are an additional 31 climate-related proposals in the guide. Several highlight obvious industries such as extractives and utilities, while others focus on big-box retailers, food retailers, the energy-intensive IT sector, as well as the financial services sector that underwrites the fossil fuel industry. Investors are urged to support resolutions calling for greenhouse gas emission reductions and greater progress on advancing green energy solutions.
"As it has done each proxy season for over 40 years, ICCR encourages all asset owners to thoughtfully consider our members' proposals,” Berry said. “We welcome endorsement and support from all investors around the globe."
ICCR has started a Twitter campaign asking shareholders to report when they have voted their proxies in favor of climate change proposals by using the hashtag #ProxyVoteForPlanet. The Guide is available at www.iccr.org.