Shareholder Resolutions 2021
Shareholder resolutions are an essential tool in any investor’s toolkit. They set out clear, detailed asks for companies, and what investors expect from them. In 2020, the world was thrown into turmoil. The Covid-19 health crisis bought with it economic and social unrest, and showed the vital role of resilience in tackling global challenges – an important lesson in an era of climate change and rampant inequality.
It has never been more important for investors to use their shareholder power to hold companies to account. That’s why we teamed up with institutional investors and individuals in 2021 to call out some of the world’s biggest companies for their role in fuelling environmental and social crises.
HSBC Climate Resolution
We joined 15 institutional investors, with a combined US$2.4 trillion in assets under management, and 117 individual shareholders to file a climate change resolution at Europe’s second largest financier of fossil fuels. In March 2021, we were able to secure landmark climate commitments from HSBC. The bank’s board tabled a resolution commiting it to phase out financing of coal-fired power and thermal coal mining by 2030 in the EU and OECD and by 2040 elsewhere, and to implement a strategy to align its provision of finance across all sectors with the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement.
Tesco Health Resolution
We’ve joined a group of institutional investors and over 100 individual shareholders to file a resolution calling on the UK’s largest food retailer to disclose targets for and increase the proportion of its sales from healthy products. In March, the retail giant took an important step forward, committing to increase its sales of healthier products, as a proportion of total sales, from 58% to 65% by 2025. This was quickly follow in May but an expansion of this commitment to its entire retail group. The company has announced it will enact similar measures across its central European operations – and formulate specific targets by the end of 2022. It has also committed to encourage Booker consumers to choose healthier options by increasing ranges of healthier products available, and nutritional information provided via labelling and online. With this in mind, we took the decision to withdraw our resolution.