Archive for the ‘proxy season’ Category

Mid-Year 2014 Report on Corporate Political Activity Shareholder Proposals

August 28, 2014

Si2 published for its clients a mid-year report on the record-breaking results from the spring corporate annual meeting season in mid-August, with a detailed analysis of the social and environmental proposals filed during proxy season.  An excerpt from this report that includes information on trends over the last five years and a complete description of all the corporate political activity proposals is now available for download:

Si2 2014 Proxy Season Mid-Year Review – Corporate Political Activity EXCERPT

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Corporate Political Spending Shareholder Proposal Results, 2010-14

July 3, 2014

Si2 has compiled a report summarizing the number of shareholder proposals filed in the five-year period 2010-14, and how investors voted on them. The report covers all proposals on corporate political activity, including direct and indirect lobbying and electoral spending and related issues, at all U.S. companies.

The report may be of interest to those debating the petition before the SEC that requests a rulemaking on mandatory corporate political spending disclosure in securities filings by U.S. companies.

View the report here:

Corporate Political Activity Shareholder Proposals, 2010-2014, as of 7-2-14

 

Nuclear Power Safety Shareholder Proposal at Entergy

April 30, 2013

The New York State Common Retirement Fund has proposed several shareholder resolutions about nuclear power safety during the 2013 proxy season, continuing inquiries it began in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.  This year’s proposal asks for a “policy to better manage the dangers that might arise from an accident or sabotage by minimizing the storage of waste in spent fuel pools and transferring such waste at the earliest safe time into dry cask storage,” and a report for investors.

The request comes in the wake from recommendations in two recent reports that nuclear plant operators transfer spent fuel to dry cask storage as soon as possible and take other steps to safeguard facilities and communities to avoid catastrophic events should accidents or terrorist attacks occur.  Entergy says that given the extensive regulations governing its operations and its own, time-tested programs, management and the board are best left to make decisions surrounding spent fuel storage.  It also says that the proponent’s proposal is overly prescriptive and would bind it to operating procedures that might not be the most prudent for the company or its shareholders.

Read Si2’s report on the resolution and background on the subject:

2013 SI2 Action Report – Entergy – Environmental Management FINAL-Blog

The Gap and Human Rights in Sri Lanka

April 26, 2012

Si2 has just published for its members a report on the pending shareholder resolution that will be considered by investors at The Gap at the company’s annual meeting on May 15th. The proponent asks the company to leave Sri Lanka because of the government’s human rights violations, but Gap says it is carefully monitoring its presence in the country and believes it is helping to rebuild the war-torn country, where a 30-year civil war ended in 2009. Si2’s Action Report on the proposal is available here: 2012 SI2 Action Report – Gap – Social (Human Rights).

Proxy Preview 2012: Energy and Politics

February 28, 2012

FEB. 28, 2012: Si2 released today Proxy Preview 2012, a comprehensive look at all the shareholder resolutions filed for the spring corporate annual meeting season, in collaboration with As You Sow and Proxy Impact. The report includes a collection of viewpoints from investor proponents of the resolutions and profiles of key players. It finds that political spending proposals now account for one-third of all social and environmental filings, about even with environmental and sustainability proposals. Key environmental issues raised include coal risks and the community impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

The full report is available for free download on the As You Sow website.

Executive Director Heidi Welsh was interviewed by NPR’s political money reporter, Peter Overby, on Morning Edition, in a story that also featured SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar, Allen Dickerson of the Center for Competitive Politics, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Bruce Freed of the Center for Political Accountability. Listen to the story here.

Si2 Proxy Season Analysis 2011 on Harvard Governance Blog

October 14, 2011

In collaboration with Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation recently published Si2’s analysis of the 2011 proxy season. The article was adapted from the executive summary of our in-depth Mid-Year Report on the results of proxy season, published in August for our members.

Update on P&G and political spending policy

October 7, 2011

On Oct. 6, 2011 Procter & Gamble filed an amendment to its 2011 proxy statement . According to the update, Proctor & Gamble reiterates its stance that the company “has not used, and has no plans to use, corporate funds to support direct political expenditures to influence federal elections for office, nor to make contributions to trade association or other groups for that purpose.” Procter & Gamble goes on to state that “While this is our general policy even at the state or local level, we have occasionally permitted, based on exceptions approved by our Public Policy Team, contributions to groups that may use the funds to influence state or local elections for office.” In that vein, the company’s Public Policy Team approved a $40,000 contribution to Partnership for Ohio’s Future – a group that “provided educational materials regarding Ohio’s judicial elections and expressed support for two judicial contests.”

According to documents filed with the Ohio Secretary of State, the group spent $1.57 million on independent expenditures for two candidates on the ballot for the Ohio Supreme Court. Under Ohio law, the Partnership for Ohio’s Future was not required to disclose the contributions, but did so voluntarily. In addition, the group is not required to disclose its donors, since independent expenditures are exempted from the donor reporting requirements to which most electioneering communications are subject.

Procter & Gamble discloses the contribution in its 2010 Corporate Contributions to Ballot Initiative or Issue Advocacy. However, in the disclosures, the Partnership for Ohio’s Future is described as a 501(c)(4) group that was formed by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce whose purpose is “to push for public policies that lead to greater opportunities and a higher quality of life for Ohio citizens. The Partnership encourages the public to learn about the issues and elections that impact Ohio’s economy.” No mention is made by Procter & Gamble of any candidate support or candidate advocacy provided by the group.

Since the Partnership for Ohio’s Future is a 501(c)(4) group, the contribution is technically not in conflict with stated company policy to “not use corporate funds to support 527 organizations or candidates in states where it is legally permissible to do so.” However, shareholders will need to decide if contributions to 501(c)(4) groups like the Partnership of Ohio’s Future are violating the spirit, if not the letter, of company policy since the money donated to certain groups is being used to support candidates at the state and local level while the company’s public policy position generally forbids any such involvement.

May 25 is ExxonMobil and Chevron’s meeting day

May 20, 2011

Investors at ExxonMobil and Chevron will consider the usual broad range of shareholder proposals on social and environmental issues, voting on seven resolutions at each company. Si2 has prepared reports on all the proposals, available here:

Chevron:

2011 Si2 Special Report – Chevron – Sustainability

  • Proposal 5 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – Chevron – Environment (Board Oversight)
  • Proposal 6 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – Chevron – Human Rights (Board Oversight)
  • Proposal 7 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – Chevron – Sustainability (Pay Links)
  • Proposal 8 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – Chevron – Human Rights (Country Selection)
  • Proposal 9 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – Chevron – Environment – Climate Change
  • Proposal 10 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – Chevron – Environment (Hydraulic Fracturing)

    ExxonMobil:

    2011 Si2 Special Report – ExxonMobil Environmental Policies

  • Proposal 6 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – ExxonMobil – Corporate Political Activity
  • Proposal 7 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – ExxonMobil – Diversity (LGBT Rights)
  • Proposal 8 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – ExxonMobil – Human Rights (Water)
  • Proposal 9 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – ExxonMobil – Natural Resource Mgt (Oil Sands)
  • Proposal 10 – 2011 SI2 Action Report – ExxonMobil – Natural Resources Mgt (Hydraulic Fracturing)
  • Proposals 11 & 12 – 2011 Si2 Action Report – ExxonMobil – Climate Change

  • Majority Vote at Ameren

    April 28, 2011

    The first majority vote of the season is in. Investors at Ameren cast 52.7 percent of their shares in support of a resolution that asked the company to report, “above and beyond current compliance, to identify and reduce environmental and health hazards associated with past and present handling of coal combustion waste, and how those efforts may reduce legal, reputational and other risks to the company’s finances and operations.” The company reported the resolution did not pass, since it counted abstentions in its voting calculation (figured that way, it was 46 percent). However it’s figured, it is clear that investors want the company to tell them more about how it plans to cope with regulations that are putting increasing restrictions on coal-burning–a major source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Preliminary results from Energen, which received a proposal asking for a report on hydraulic fracturing, show that about half of the investors there also are not sanguine about fracking’s risks and want more information, as well.

    Here’s Si2’s Action Report on Ameren for more on the company and its exposure to coal risks:2011 Si2 Action Report – Ameren – Natural Resource Management (Coal)

    Proxy Preview Webinar

    February 17, 2011

    PROXY SEASON FORECAST: Si2’s comprehensive 2011 Proxy Season Forecast became available to members on February 15, with information on all the new issues, SEC developments, and predictions for this spring. In a new collaboration this year, a version of the impartial Si2 Forecast will be included in Proxy Preview 2011, published by the As You Sow Foundation, alongside a collection of 14 advocacy group viewpoints. The report will be launched with a free webinar on February 23.

    See more information and sign up for the webinar at www.proxypreview.org.