Now more than ever we need to take advantage of every positive economic action we can to build an economy and society that works for people and the planet.
If you own company stock directly, be sure to add “proxy power” to your action list. Yes – you can vote to pressure companies to be more transparent about their conduct related to issues such as human rights, gun control, climate change, fair pay, corporate lobbying, and the diversity of corporate boards. Shareholders have a voice -- so by not voting your shares you could be making it easier for companies to continue unfair and harmful practices -- like underpaying women.
The main proxy voting season is in the spring, timed to shareholder meetings, so shareholders will soon receive their proxy materials and voting ballots via postal or electronic mail. Once again, approximately 400 resolutions, at dozens of companies, on crucial social, environmental, and corporate governance issues will be addressed.
Your vote matters – especially when it comes to supporting social and environmental issues that corporate managers typically urge shareholders to oppose on the ballot. Voting to increase corporate transparency on key issues affecting workers, communities, and natural resources is an important first step toward improving corporate behavior.
Voting your proxies makes a difference, as Andy Behar, publisher of the Proxy Preview notes: “….the Trump administration continues to weaken government regulations that protect citizens from environmental harms and provide basic social rights. More than ever, it is clear that investors who use their voices as a powerful force for positive change can make a difference at companies that want to thrive and survive in the future.”
If you want to better understand your proxy power – including recent shareholder resolution trends, the rise of new investor coalitions, and key themes in the 2018 proxy season, you’ll want your own copy of the 2018 Proxy Preview. Green America is proud to co-sponsor the Proxy Preview, a “must read” for anyone interested in the shareholder resolution process. You can download your free copy here.
The Proxy Preview explains shareholder resolutions in clear terms and provides context for understanding resolutions’ recent history, who filed the resolutions, as well as lists of companies and the types of resolutions filed at them by concerned shareholders.
Not sure how to read and vote your proxy ballot? Click here for Green America’s proxy voting tips.
Pay attention to your proxy materials – and vote your values!