Tag Archives | Domini

Investor Letter to BRT (Business Roundtable)

Publisher’s Note: The following guest post from Timothy Smith reproduces a recent investor letter to the BRT (Business Roundtable) concerning the importance of shareholder resolutions. I added title, graphics, changed some of the formatting and added a note about the BRT for background. See also previous posts: Financial CHOICE Act: From too big to fail, to too big to listen and Financial CHOICE Act: Take Action. Download the original letter via pdf.

Walden Asset Management

 

 

 

 

July 6, 2017
Mr. Joshua Bolton
President and CEO
The Business Roundtable
300 New Jersey Avenue, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20001

Dear Mr. Bolton:

We are writing to express the deep concerns of numerous investors regarding the Business Roundtable’s active campaign to effectively end the ability of most investors to file shareholder resolutions for a vote at corporate annual general meetings. Continue Reading →

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Proxy Access at Apple: Last Day to Vote

Proxy Access at AppleProxy Access at Apple (AAPL) will be one of the most important votes of the proxy season. Will shareholders settle for the board’s recently adopted “lite” version, akin to greenwashing, or will shareholders vote in favor of real proxy access? Boards, investors, and the corporate governance industrial complex are watching in anticipation.  Your opportunity to vote  on this important issue expires TODAY, February 25th at 8:59pm PST (11:59pm EST) if you are using ProxyVote.com.

80% of retail shares aren’t typically voted, so it is almost as if you’ll be voting for five. If you are like me, you may hold Apple ($AAPL) stock in more than one account. Be sure to vote them all. Do it today, unless you will attend the meeting tomorrow. Vote FOR #8, Adopt Proxy Access Right. Continue Reading →

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Procter & Gamble: How I Voted – Proxy Score 56

Procter & GambleProcter & Gamble Co (NYSE:PG) provides consumer packaged goods and is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their next annual meeting is October 13, 2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked and voted. I voted with the Board’s recommendations 56% of the time. View Proxy Statement

Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Procter & Gamble proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value.   Continue Reading →

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Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI): Proxy Score 50

Scripps NetworksScripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (NYSE:SNI) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. They develop lifestyle-oriented content for television and the Internet with various television and interactive brands. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/12/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of three funds when I checked and voted on 5/5/2015.  I voted with management 50% of the time and assigned Scripps Networks Interactive a proxy score of 50. Continue Reading →

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Marriott International Inc (MAR): Proxy Score 71

Marriott InternationalMarriott International Inc $MAR is one of the stocks in my portfolio. They operate and franchise of hotels, corporate housing properties, and timeshare properties under numerous brand names which includes Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, EDITION, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, TownePlace Suites by Marriott, Marriott ExecuStay, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/8/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the votes of two funds when I checked and voted on 4/30/2015.  I voted with management 71% of the time and assigned Marriott International a proxy score of 71. Continue Reading →

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Kimberly Clark Corp (KMB): Proxy Score 57

Kimberly ClarkKimberly Clark Corp (KMB), which manufactures and markets personal care, consumer tissue, and K-C professional products, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/30/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the vote of four funds when I checked and voted on 4/24/2015. I voted with management 57% of the time and assigned Kimberly Clark a proxy score of 57.

View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Kimberly Clark 2015 proxy in order to enhance corporate governance and long-term value. Continue Reading →

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Coca-Cola Co (KO): Proxy Vote 58

Coca-ColaThe Coca-Cola Co (KO), which primarly manufactures and distributes various nonalcoholic beverages, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/29/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the vote of three funds when I checked and voted on 4/22/2015 (they now have more). I voted with management 58% of the time and assigned Coca-Cola a proxy score of 58.

View Proxy Statement. Read Warnings below. What follows are my recommendations on how to vote the Coca-Cola 2015 proxy in order to enhance  Continue Reading →

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Bio-Rad Laboratories (BIO): Proxy Score 33

Bio-Rad LaboratoriesBio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (BIO), which manufactures and supplies products and systems used to separate complex chemical and biological materials, as well as to identify, analyze, and purify their components for life science research, healthcare, analytical chemistry, and other markets, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/28/2015. ProxyDemocracy.org had the vote of two funds when I checked and voted on 4/22/2015. I see CalSTRS voted with management on all issues. I voted with management 33% of the time and assigned Bio-Rad Laboratories a proxy score of 33. Continue Reading →

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Tax Avoidance with Subsidiaries in Luxembourg

Tax Avoiding Brands with Subsidiaries in Luxembourg

Tax Avoiding Brands with Subsidiaries in Luxembourg

More than 80 reporters from 26 countries sifted through up to 1,000 leaked documents and collaborated across borders to tell the Luxembourg Leaks story on multiple platforms. But one of the main difficulties reporters faced was translating the complexity of the financial arrangements laid out in the leaked documents to language and examples that a broad audience could understand.

The animation below, Luxembourg Leaks: Tricks of the Trade, produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center, plays an important role in making the arcane accessible. My portfolio includes Apple, Caterpillar, Coca Cola and Amazon. Ugh. Of course I want to make money… but not this way.

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August: 5, 10 & 15 Years Ago in Corporate Governance

Mr. Peabodys WayBackMachineCorporate Governance Publisher’s Note: Yes, you’ll find many broken links in the material referenced below. After 5, 10 and 15 years, the internet moves on. Many of the organization’s linked have since gone under. We’re just glad to still be here, offering our readers a sense of the history we have shared. More about the WABAC machine

Five Years Ago in Corporate Governance

CalPERS is believed by many, and for good reason, to be a paragon of virtue with regard to its advocacy of good corporate governance. Yet, their own election process had long been criticized as making it nearly impossible to unseat incumbents. At one point, the Board voted in favor of regulations prohibiting criticism of the Board in candidate statements, which were to be strictly limited to biographical information. To help remedy that problem I shelled out $500 to rent a hall, holding the first ever forum of CalPERS candidates. An expected winner who failed to show lost. Members finally had an opportunity to question candidates on their qualifications and their positions on the issues. These days, CalPERS is holding the forums in their auditorium. The next one is scheduled for September 16. See page 3 of Candidate Statement Booklet. For some of the latest issues, see CalPensions. Continue Reading →

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Announcing Proxy Votes Improves Corporate Governance

democracy

Shareowners Upholding Industry

Yesterday, I posted a recent letter to the editor of Pensions & Investments praising their editorial, Winning Over Proxy Voters, which argues that institutional investors have a fiduciary duty to announce their proxy votes in advance of annual meetings, if doing so is likely to influence voters. If institutional investors heed their call, it will speed the development of open client director voting (CDV) and more intelligent proxy votes.

As corporate power grows and the power of government falls, mechanisms to govern corporations become more important. As government power falls, their power to regulate corporations falls as well. Further, as the influence of corporations over governments increases (e.g. lobbying) the will of governments to regulate corporations also falls.  – CHR for Social Responsibility

Historically, most retail shareowners toss their proxies. During the first year under the “notice and access” method for Internet delivery of proxy materials, less than 6% made use of their proxy votes. Those that do vote own disproportionately more shares (about 25-30% of total retail shares). The voting rate hasn’t improved much, if at all. This contrasts with almost all institutional investors voting, since they have a fiduciary duty to do so. Unfortunately, it isn’t time/cost efficient to read through the entire proxy to vote a few retail shares intelligently. Continue Reading →

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Corporate Tax Strategies Threaten Wealth Creation: Fiduciaries Must Consider the Impact on Society

Adam Kanzer

Adam Kanzer

Guest Post by Adam M. Kanzer, managing director and general counsel of Domini Social Investments LLC, New York. His responsibilities include directing Domini’s shareholder advocacy department, where for more than ten years he has led numerous dialogues with corporations on a wide range of social and environmental issues. The following originally appeared under the same title in the May 14, 2014 edition of Pensions & Investment. I added a few additional links.

Google Inc. shareholders May 14 rejected by a 93% vote a proposal sponsored by my firm, seeking the adoption of a responsible code of conduct to guide the company’s global tax strategies. I suspect this proposal prompted a quizzical reaction from many investors who assume that minimizing corporate tax payments is good for shareholders. An April 28 Pensions & Investments editorial, Tax exempt but tax conscious, wrestled with this issue, ultimately concluding fiduciaries could not ask companies to pay more. Continue Reading →

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Fiduciary Duty to Announce Votes (Part 2): Historical Background

A major landmark in establishing a fiduciary duty for proxy voting was the Department of Labor’s (DOL) 1988 Avon Letter, which was based on specific sections of ERISA (sections 402, 403, 404 and 405), summarized as follows:

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CMG Shareowners Vote Down Pay & Supermajority Requirements

JMSelfie-CMG

McRitchie CMG Selfie

cmg
Just a brief post to thank shareowners at Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) for sending a strong message to the company’s board and management.  77% of shares were voted against the executive pay package and a majority supported our proposal to end supermajority voting requirements.

CalSTRS, Florida SBA, AFSCME, Calvert, Domini, Trillium, CBIS, CtW and many others joined to reject the non-binding say-on-pay measure and a proposed stock incentive plan. Both ISS and Glass Lewis recommended their clients vote against the package and the plan. Continue Reading →

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Gilead Sciences (GILD): How I Voted – Proxy Score 43

GileadMtgSignGilead Sciences $GILD is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/7/2014. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two funds when I checked and voted on 4/28/2014.  I voted with management 43% of the time.  View GILD’s Proxy Statement, which has a linked Table of Contents.

Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious CrimeI generally vote against pay packages where NEOs were paid above median in the previous year but make exceptions if warranted.  Continue Reading →

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International Business Machines Corp. (IBM): How I Voted – Proxy Score 75

IBMInternational Business Machines Corp. $IBM, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/29/2014. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked and voted on 4/22/2014.  I voted with management 75% of the time.  View Proxy Statement.

Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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The Coca-Cola Company (KO): How I Voted – Proxy Score 63 – Things Go Better With a Split CEO/Chair

CokeThe Coca-Cola Company $KO, is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/23/2014. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked and voted on 4/15/2014.  I voted with management 63% of the time.  View Proxy Statement, which by the way is very nice and user friendly. See 18 Cool Things about the proxy.

Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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Take Action: Join Nader's Penny Brigade

RalphNaderSome have argued that Ralph Nader started socially responsible shareholder activism with Campaign GM, when the group filed shareholder proposals to expand GM’s board to include consumer advocates and empower shareholders to place their board nominees on GM’s proxy ballot (proxy access).  According to a recent article in the WSJ, the longtime consumer advocate is now putting together a shareholder-activism group. (Ralph Nader Adds Shareholder Activist to His Portfolio, 1/15/2014) Continue Reading →

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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): How I Voted – Proxy Score – 75

microsoftMicrosoft Corporation $MSFT is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 11/19/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked (there have been more since).  I voted with management 75% of the time.  View Proxy Statement.

Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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Reeds, Inc. (REED): My 1st Attempt to Collaborate Through Sharegate

sharegateReedsI’ve started to use Sharegate.com to network with other shareowners around specific companies. The first company I’m working on through Sharegate is Reeds (REED). I think our company’s product line is strong but management and the board appear to be weak in distribution skills. After years of refining and growing their fine products, #REED still is not profitable.

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Garment Worker to Access WalMart Annual Meeting

I am delighted to announce that Kalpona Akter, a former garment worker from Bangladesh who is the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, will have access to the floor of the WalMart ($WMT) annual meeting on Friday, June 7 in Bentonville, Arkansas. She has been an outspoken critic of sweatshop conditions in Bangladesh where Wal-Mart is the second largest producer. Ironically, she will be presenting my proposal to allow shareowners to call a “special meeting.” Continue Reading →

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Google $GOOG – Proxy Score 53

Google (GOOG) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 6/6/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three funds when I checked on 5/23/2013.  I voted with management 53% of the time.  View Proxy Statement.

 Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Proxy Score 64

Amazon.com, Inc. ($AMZN) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/23/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three funds when I checked on 5/16/2013.  I voted with management 64% of the time.  View Proxy Statement (high tech AMZN but no hyperlinked index). Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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How I Voted: Marriott International Inc (MAR) – Proxy Score 93%

Marriott International Inc ($MAR) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/10/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two funds when I checked on 5/3/2013.  I voted with management 93% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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How I Voted: Kimberly Clark (KMB) – Score 64%

Kimberly Clark ($KMB) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/2/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of five funds when I checked on 4/26/2013. I voted with management 64% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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How I Voted: American Express Company (AXP) – Proxy Score 59%

American Express Company ($AXP) is a stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 4/29/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of six funds when I checked on 4/22/2013.  I voted with management 59% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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Apple: How I Voted, Proxy Score – 46

Apple ($AAPL) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 2/27/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of five funds when I checked on 2/19/2012.  They listed the votes of six funds voting as of yesterday. I voted with management 46% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. I voted, despite David Einhorn’s attempt to get an injunction to block the vote on “Proposal 2” in Apple’s proxy statement, which would abolish a system for issuing preferred stock at its discretion, facilitate majority voting in director elections and establish a par value for the company’s common stock. Continue Reading →

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Resolutions Challenge Chamber Board Members on Political Expenditures

Investors recently announced filing of shareowner resolutions at several corporations with board members who also sit on the Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, challenging these corporate boards to review their policies and oversight of political expenditures, especially through trade associations. The first filings are at Accenture, IBM, Pepsi and Pfizer.

The filers believe each of these companies has strong corporate governance records and is understandably proud of its leadership in corporate responsibility. In addition, IBM, Pfizer and Pepsi have strong vendor standards policies holding their suppliers to high standards of conduct through audits and engagement. However, according to Timothy Smith, Senior Vice President of Walden Asset Management and one of the lead sponsors of the resolutions:

Yet as Board members and major corporate contributors to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce they play a passive and compliant role, remaining silent while the Chamber reportedly poured $75 million into the 2010 election while working to unseat any member of the U.S. Congress who voted in favor of healthcare reform. The Chamber also works vigorously against legislation and regulation on climate change and financial reform. Ironically, the Chamber works to undercut the very leadership these companies demonstrate on sustainability.

Adam Kanzer, General Counsel at Domini Social Investments and a filer of the resolution at IBM, said:

The Chamber of Commerce is an aggressively partisan organization that is standing in the way of solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems, from health care to climate change. We are asking why these companies would lend their good names—and their implicit endorsement— to the Chamber’s agenda, which often runs contrary to their own, stated policies and practices. We are simply asking them to do what directors are supposed to do – ask hard questions and exercise meaningful oversight.

The resolution sponsors argue that a company serving on the Chamber’s Board can be widely perceived as supporting and promoting its policies and programs, which can have a negative impact on a company with a strong reputation for good governance and corporate responsibility, since the Chamber’s own website says:

Directors determine the U.S. Chamber’s policy positions on business issues and advise the U.S. Chamber on appropriate strategies to pursue. Through their participation in meetings and activities held across the nation, directors help implement and promote U.S. Chamber policies and objectives.

The resolution is also expected to be filed with several other companies on the Chamber’s Board, which has over 100 members including, AT&T, Caremark, Caterpillar, Deere & Company, Dow Chemical, FedEx, JPMorgan Chase & Co., UPS, and Xerox. Stephen Viederman of the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, one of the sponsors of the Pfizer resolution said,

As Chamber Board members these companies need to stand up and be counted; clarifying which side they are on. If they differ with the political positions of the Chamber, they need to speak out and make their positions clear.

Controversy about the Chamber’s role in thwarting environmental and climate change legislation led Nike to withdraw from the Board; and PG&E, Exelon, Apple and Levi Strauss to withdraw their Chamber memberships in 2009. In addition, several local Chambers of Commerce have withdrawn their national affiliation.

To date, the 25 filers of these resolutions include a broad range of investors, including Walden Asset Management, Domini Social Investment, the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, Catholic Health East, Catholic Healthcare West, Green Century Balanced Fund, the Funding Exchange, the Needmor Fund, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Sisters of Notre Dame Toledo Province, Catholic Healthcare East, the Tides Foundation, Boston Common Asset Management, Zevin Asset Management as well as several individual investors. The list of filers is expected to expand as the proxy season progresses.

I encourage readers to support these resolutions and consider filing their own wherever there are gaps, following the example of the SIF members mentioned above, Shareowner Resolution. Not sure how to file? Sign up for a free class with USPX.

Ron Freund, of the Social Equity Group, wonders if similar resolutions should be placed at major TV owners requesting policies which prohibit political ads from non-disclosed donations.

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Citizens United: Most Won't Engage But Won't Monitor Either

Back in July, I signed onto a letter from the Center for Political Accountability, Walden Asset Management and Domini Social Investment asking companies about their use of new corporate political spending routes opened up by the Citizens United decision.

As of October 7, 2010, 68 companies have formally responded, with several more responses expected.

35 of the responders stated they do not plan to engage directly in any independent expenditure activity. However, relatively few companies have committed to hold their trade associations’ political spending to scrutiny by imposing conditions on dues payments or other means. Other notable trends and highlights in the responses include:

  • Many smaller companies stated that because they generally do not engage in the political process, they do not see the need to implement a policy regarding independent expenditures or trade association monitoring.
  • Several companies stated that they currently or will begin to inform their trade associations that no portion of their dues may be used for political expenditures. Philip Morris International included a template of the communication it sends with its dues payments stating that none of the dues may be used for election activity.
  • Many larger companies declined to answer the questions posed or commit to any increased disclosure.
  • 30 companies stated that they would not engage in independent expenditures, but were reluctant to monitor or impose conditions on their trade association payments or did not address the issue at all.
  • All of the responders in the health insurance industry (Aetna, UnitedHealth, WellPoint) declined to outline their positions on independent expenditures.
  • Several responders appear to still be reviewing the implications of Citizens United and were not in a position to comment on the questions posed in the letter. Some of these responders say they will consider our ideas when formulating their policies.

Further information at Companies spend indirectly on politics (USA Today, 9/8/2010) and in this summary document (pdf)  with 2-3 prominent quotes from all of the responsive companies. Contact: Aaron W. Stanley, Staff Associate, Center for Political Accountability.

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BPA, It's The Real Thing

The first ever shareholder resolution on BPA that was filed at Coca-Cola received 22% of the vote. The information below is from Michael Passoff of As You Sow, which was a co-filer on the shareholder resolution:

Our speaker at the Coke annual meeting just reported that the shareholder resolution on BPA received a 22% vote. This is an excellent first year vote. Few new resolutions get more than 5-6% on a first year vote. Some of the other new resolutions that I can remember getting more than 20% on their first vote were the Say on Pay and climate change resolutions – both of which now regularly get very high support – some even winning majority votes

The resolution received support from some significant sources.

  • RiskMetrics Group and Proxy Governance – the first and third largest proxy analyst services in the country both recommend voting FOR this resolution. Both groups note that Coca-Cola does not sufficiently disclose the steps the company is taking to address shareholder and consumer concerns about the use of BPA in can linings.
  • CalPERS, the nation’s largest pension fund – voted all of its 6,075,143 shares for this resolution (= aprox. $346M)
  • The Investor Environmental Health Network – a shareholder network with $41B in combined assets – supported this resolution.

We will be bringing it back every year until the company catches up with the rest of the industry in recognizing the risks of BPA. Coke should be concerned about where these resolutions are headed over the long term. The main implication of the resolution is that Coke is an industry laggard, and shareholders like to invest their money with leaders not laggards.

Our shareholder coalition contacted Coke in 2007, 2008, and 2009 requesting a dialogue regarding the company’s use of BPA. The company did not agree to talk with us until December 2009. At that point we had already surveyed more than 20 companies over their use of BPA and had engaged in dialogues with several of them – so our dialogue with Coke made it quite clear that they were lagging the industry in several significant ways.

  • Coke does not provide consumers with sufficient information regarding the health risks associated with BPA. For example, Heinz Company’s website notes that the company is “proactively exploring alternatives to BPA.” In stark contrast, Coke’s website claims that its beverage packaging does not pose a public health risk, including any “alleged risks” associated with BPA. As the world’s largest beverage company, Coca-Cola sells almost 570 billion servings of beverages. A significant part of this business is selling beverages in aluminum cans that contain BPA. Yet, our company has failed to provide shareholders with sufficient evidence that it is addressing or mitigating BPA related risks.
  • Coke’s assumption that BPA does not pose a public health risk, in the face of mounting regulatory restrictions and consumer concerns exposes our company to regulatory, legal, and competitive risks. Coke does not provide investors with information about these financial risks. (CorpGov.net: In my opinion, the company has basically taken the position of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: A Poor Framework for Risk Analysis by Both Investors and Directors (HLSCG&FR, 11/15/09)

Coke also lags behind the industry in exploring alternatives to BPA. Coke’s failure to explore BPA-free alternatives leaves it unprepared for likely regulatory changes. For example:

  • Four bills were introduced in the 2009-10 Congress to ban or limit the use of BPA.
  • Four states passed legislation banning or limiting BPA and in 2009 over 20 states introduced similar legislation.
  • In January 2010, the FDA reversed decades of silence on the possible dangers of BPA, stating its concerns about the potential effects BPA has fetuses, infants and young children. The FDA also stated that it supported efforts to replace BPA and to developing alternatives – sending industry a clear signal that it should transition out of BPA

All of this led As You Sow, Domini Social Investments, and Trillium Asset Management to file the first-ever shareholder resolution focused on BPA – and apparently a lot of Coke investors share our concerns.

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