ICCR Offers Guide and Tweets #ProxyVoteForPlanet

Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) released their 2013 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide including all member-sponsored shareholder proposals for the upcoming proxy season.

ICCR members are calling on asset owners to help promote corporate responsibility by voting their proxies in support of investor proposals that advance social, economic and environmental justice.  
This year’s Guide features 180 resolutions filed at 127 companies. ICCR proposals typically address  concerns around human rights and supply chain accountability, financial practices, access to health care, food and water sustainability and environmental health, and promote good corporate governance. While ICCR members engage in hundreds of corporate dialogues each year, the proxy resolution is used to bring issues of concern to other stockholders when dialogues don’t yield progress. Laura Berry, ICCR’s Executive Director observed,

The influence of shareholders is enormous. 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.

In 2013, resolutions on lobbying and political spending were once again the most numerous at 52 proposals, nearly one third of all ICCR proposals. In recent years, ICCR members have challenged  conflict between corporate advocacy through trade association membership and lobbying, and their public positions on issues such as health care, financial, and environmental reform. Shareholders have a right to know whether company resources are being used to impact elections and public policy, including regulatory legislation.

ICCR members continue to call for tougher GHG reduction goals and accelerated investments in renewable energy. ICCR members sponsored 31 climate-related proposals. Several focus on obvious industries like extractives and utilities, while others focus on big box retailers, food retailers, the energy-intensive IT sector, and the financial services sector, which underwrites the fossil fuel industry.

The single most broadly supported ICCR resolution this year calls for Exxon Mobil to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Filed by a coalition of 34 investor groups including congregations, foundations, hospitals, and asset management companies, the resolution asks the company to “adopt quantitative goals for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from the Company’s products and operations.” ICCR members are hopeful investors will add their voices to those calling for GHG reductions and greater progress on advancing green energy solutions. 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.

Addressing another developing concern, Chevron’ shareholders are urged to vote in support of a proposal asking the company to review its ill-considered attack on shareholders in the wake of an $18 billion levy for environmental degradation in Ecuador. Continued Berry,

As it has done each proxy season for over 40 years, ICCR encourages all asset owners to thoughtfully consider our members’ proposals.  We welcome endorsement and support from all investors around the globe.

The Guide is available on the ICCR Website.

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