Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Climate & Energy

Economic action to stop global warming


Shareholder Action

Shareholders, as part-owners of corporations, can have a powerful impact on corporate America.

While shareholders can't literally force companies to their practices, when increasing numbers of shareholders express concern over a company’s conduct, they can prod a company into action.

Shareholders can file resolutions calling for changes at a company, which are voted on by all shareholders in the company.  They can also open direct dialogues with management. Over the past thirty-five years, shareholders have used these strategies to make companies clean up their toxic waste, promote fair employment practices, and improve board oversight of management, and much more.

In recent years, a growing number of shareholders are focusing their attention on climate change.

Corporations in almost all industries – from car manufacturers to power companies to insurers – are either directly involved in creating climate change or likely to feel direct impacts from the effects of climate change on the economy.  Companies that take steps now to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or plan for the impacts of climate change on their operations are going to be well-positioned as global warming increasingly takes effect.

As investors in a company, shareholders will suffer under the effects of climate change.  When corporate earnings plunge, shareholders will see their investments evaporate, which gives them a powerful incentive to encourage corporations in which they own shares to take climate change seriously now.

Learn more and take action...

Read more about the basics of shareholder action.

Find a socially responsible mutual fund.