Proxy preview: Shareholder ESG proposals at major US companies

Investor environmental, social and governance proposals

With the US proxy voting season now in full swing, here is a round-up of some of the key ESG proposals for US shareholder meetings until the end of April.

Compiled using data from SI2, the Sustainable Investments Institute. Link

Citigroup is facing three shareholder proposals at its meeting in Dallas on April 17. The New York City Funds are calling on it to review its home mortgage policies while the Kansas City Firefighters seek a report on political spending and lobbying. Evelyn Davis is seeking the disclosure of employees’ prior government service. Proxy

Walden Asset Management is calling for healthcare technology firm C.R. Bard to publish a sustainability report. The company holds its meeting in New Jersey on April 18. Proxy

The New York State Common Retirement Fund is calling for a report on energy efficiency efforts at power firm Ameren’s meeting in St. Louis on April 24. There are also proposals covering coal combustion waste and coal costs and risks from As You Sow and the Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment. Proxy

The Massachusetts Laborers’ Pension Fund is calling for a report on political spending and lobbying at North Carolina-based financial holding company BB&T. The meeting date is April 24. Proxy

Northstar Asset Management has tabled a motion calling for insurance giant Chubb to adopt an advisory vote on political spending at its meeting in Warren, New Jersey on April 24. Proxy
Computer giant IBM is facing proposals from Walden Asset Management and Green Century Management on reviewing political contributions and the disclosure of lobbying polices and practices respectively. There is also a proposal from Evelyn Davis on cumulative voting. IBM holds its meeting in North Charleston, South Carolina on April 24. Proxy*The New York City Pension Funds* have a resolution tabled at Wells Fargo requesting a review of the bank’s home mortgage policies for its meeting in San Francisco on the 24th. Proxy

Johnson & Johnson, the consumer products giant, is facing a proposal from the AFSCME Employees Pension Plan, calling for an independent chairman. There is also a proposal from shareholder James Mackie that J&J must have 75% shareholder support to make political contributions. The company holds its meeting in New Jersey on April 26. Proxy

Drugs firm Abbot Laboratories is facing seven shareholder proposals, according to its proxy, including one from the AFSCME Employees Pension Plan calling for a report on political lobbying. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Pension Benefit Fund is seeking an independent chairman while the Philadelphia Public Employees Retirement System wants no more tax “gross-up” payments to executives. There are also motions from the AFLCIO Reserve Fund, New York City Comptroller and the SEIU Master Trust. The Abbot AGM takes place in Illinois on April 27.

AT&T is facing three shareholder proposals. They are on political contributions (Domini Social Investments), network neutrality (Trillium) and independent board chairman. The telecoms company holds its meeting in Salt Lake City on April 27. Proxy

Newground Social Investment has a motion at the Boeing shareholder meeting in Chicago on April 30 calling for the aircraft maker to review and report on its political spending. There are three other shareholder proposals on the proxy, on action by written consent, the retention of stock by ex-executives and extraordinary retirement benefits.

The New York City Comptroller is calling for Motorola Solutions to help its suppliers to begin publishing annual, independently verifiable, sustainability reports. The telecoms firm holds its meeting in Washington on April 30.