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. Covid-19 has thrust the issue of unhealthy diets into the spotlight, as people living with severe obesity are three times more likely to be admitted to intensive care. Tesco is the grocery market leader (27%), but its health performance lags behind peers. If passed, the resolution will require the company to disclose the share of total food and non-alcoholic drink annual sales by volume made up of healthier products, develop a strategy to significantly increase that share by 2030, and publish a review of its progress each year from 2022 onwards.