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.