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Victory! Sustainable investors cheer corporates meeting green demands
by James Poulter on Aug 09, 2013 at 16:07
Sustainable investors in the US are claiming ‘noteworthy victories’ in the 2013 proxy voting season, following a near-record 110 shareholder resolutions filed with 94 companies.
Resolutions tackled corporate sustainability challenges such as climate change, supply chain issues and water related risks, and were filed with manufacturers, consumer brands and service providers.
Some of the US’ largest public pension funds such as the California State Teachers Retirement System made the filings, along with socially responsible investors collectively managing more than $500 billion in assets.
Investors withdrew more than 40 of the resolutions after the companies targeted agreed to meet their requests, according to sustainability organisation Ceres.
Ceres’ president Mindy Lubber, who helped co-ordinate the filings, said: ‘This year’s proxy results showed strong progress on wide-ranging sustainability challenges.
‘Investors are ever more mindful of escalating environmental and social risks and want answers on how companies are dealing with them,’ Lubber added.
Among the high points of the 2013 voting season for the sustainability group were coffee giant Starbucks agreeing to source sustainable palm oil.
Other included major firms agreeing to board oversight of environmental and social factors, encouraging or requiring sustainability reporting by suppliers and issuing comprehensive sustainability reporting.
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