Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), the US coalition whose 300 member organisations have more than $100bn (€73.2bn) in assets under management, are focusing on corporate political contributions in their resolutions at company annual general meetings this year.
And the ICCR has started a Twitter campaign asking shareholders to report when they have voted in favour of climate change proposals, via the hashtag #ProxyVoteForPlanet.
Resolutions on lobbying and political spending account for 52 of the 180 resolutions on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues tabled by ICCR members at 127 companies for this year’s proxy voting season.
There are 31 proposals on greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy; several focus on 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 calls for Exxon Mobil to reduce its emissions, which has beenfiled by a coalition of 34 investor groups including congregations, foundations, hospitals, and asset management companies. The motion asks the company to “adopt quantitative goals for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from the Company’s products and operations”.
“The influence of shareholders is enormous”
And Chevron’ shareholders are being urged to vote in support of a proposal asking the company to review what ICCR terms the oil major’s “ill-considered attack” on shareholders over the $18bn Ecuador environmental degradation case.
ICCR Executive Director Laura Berry said: “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.”
Link to resolutions