It looks like this year will be big for investor activism
So far in 2017, shareholder resolutions specifically related to social and environmental issues have increased to 430 from 370 resolutions last year, according to As You Sow’s annual Proxy Preview.
. . .Shareholder resolutions, also known as shareholder proposals, are part of a larger trend of shareholder activism in ESG issues.
A recent study by Harvard University found that about 40 percent of shareholder proposals on the Russell 3000, an index that is a benchmark for the entire U.S stock market, are related to ESG issues, a 60 percent increase since 2003.
While the study found that most of these ESG proposals fail to receive majority support, it also found that these resolutions nonetheless can improve a company’s attention and performance on the ESG issue in question.