Proxy Season Roundup

Bruce Herbert, President, and Larry Dohrs, Vice President of Newground Social Investment were interviewed by Diane Horn for the Sustainability Segment of Mind Over Matters, in an hour-long radio interview on June 12, 2010 at Seattle’s KEXP.  Herbert and Dohrs provide a great overview of SRI and a colorful review of the 2010 proxy season to date. Seattle is lucky to have such an informative radio program but the rest of us can all benefit by listening to the streaming archive that will still be up until about June 26, 2010.

The dynamic duo do a great job of covering governance, human rights and environmental issues in an easily understood manner. They discuss Newground’s proposals at Plum Creek Timber on vote counting, Microsoft and Starbucks on political transparency (including contributions to groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce), TJX to report on energy efficiency (reached agreement without the need to file resolution), McDonalds on supply chain disclosures, as well significant and new proxy proposals at other companies such as long term risks of natural gas company fracking.

I’m delighted that they were candid in both their praise of several companies they worked with but also with laggards, such as Chevron, which kept 20 people with legal proxies out of their meeting. Good emphasis on connection between values and investment and in highlighting the work of others, such as I especially appreciated their closing comments, reminding listeners that coming together as a community we can do much more than we can as individuals. “Invest as if your grandchildren matter.” Even if you invest primarily because you love money, you should invest in a socially responsible manner so that there will still be something left worth spending it on.

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