Companies including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock will be forced to confront accusations of hypocrisy at their upcoming shareholder meetings from investors challenging commitments made by corporate America to consider the environment and their workers alongside profitability.
The companies are among members of the Business Roundtable, one of the largest business lobbying groups in the US, which in August dropped its stance that shareholders alone should benefit from a companies’ actions.
Sceptical activists have launched an effort to compel the firms to detail how they will actually incorporate the landmark pledge into their business practices, and have submitted shareholder proposals for debate at forthcoming annual meetings.
Goldman, BlackRock and Citigroup petitioned to block the resolutions, but this week the US Securities and Exchange Commission said the proposals would have to be put to a vote. The SEC also rejected a bid by Bank of America to block a similar resolution earlier this month.