Setting clear expectations on environmental and social action
A powerful tool for change
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 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 team up with institutional investors and individuals to call out some of the world’s biggest companies for their role in fuelling environmental and social crises.
In 2020, our resolutions saw:
European bank HSBC
set landmark climate commitments. 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.
UK supermarket Tesco
take a giant step forward. It committed to increase the sales of healthier products - as a proportion of total sales - across its entire retail group from 58% to 65% by 2025. It also announced it will enact similar measures across its central European operations.
Resolutions to watch
Voting on resolutions is one of the primary means by which shareholders can exert influence over their investee companies and exercise stewardship.
We tracker a number of vital global shareholder resolutions, as well as resolutions filed at European countries, in one place. It is aimed to be an informational tool for investors and others to identify the companies facing environmental and social resolutions in 2021. It is not intended to be exhaustive of all ESG resolutions.
Our ‘Resolutions to Watch’ list (marked with a star in the below table) highlights key shareholder resolutions that we think should be a priority for investors in the 2021 AGM season.
They are selected based on how ambitious and impactful the resolution is, whilst aiming to achieve a broad spread across resolution topics and sectors. We urge asset manager to vote FOR these shareholder resolutions, publicly pre-declare voting intention, and publish a rationale for any deviations in voting outcomes. We urge asset owners to ask your asset manager to do the same, and to use this list to challenge and evaluate your asset manager on their voting decisions.
While our ‘Resolutions to Watch’ list identifies specific resolutions for support, we do support many of the other resolutions listed in the table below and expect asset managers and asset owners to vote FOR resolutions which support ambitious environmental and social progress.
The Resolutions Tracker was published on 25 March 2021. We aim to update the tracker regularly and will add new resolutions as they are announced. Last updated: 2 July 2021.
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