VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow is quoted in a CNN story about shareholder activism and the way corporate executives are pushing back, including the fake front groups ACCF and Main Street Investors Coalition.
Leveraging shareholder votes for environmental and social ends isn’t new, but such resolutions have been on the rise in recent years. Shareholders proposed 464 resolutions in 2018 compared with 407 in 2010, according to an analysis by the Sustainable Investments Institute.Although that’s down slightly from a record of 494 resolutions in 2017, the number of proposals that were withdrawn jumped in 2018, often following quiet deals with management to accomplish some part of what the resolution called for without going to a public vote.
Environmental, social and governance resolutions are gaining support from a broader range of shareholders. The average percentage of shares voting for those resolutions rose to an all-time high of 25.7% in 2018, up from about 19% in 2010….
Proponents of environmental resolutions say the ability to adapt to a warming world will be critical to a company’s ability to deliver returns decades in the future, when it will matter for most retirees currently paying into the system.
“Even if you think that fossil fuels are the greatest thing in the world, you’re not making any more of it. So what is your plan going forward?” says Nell Minow, vice president of ValueEdge Advisors, which helps institutional investors engage with their portfolio companies.