Periodically investor groups coordinate public statements or letters in support of various initiatives or policies related to sustainability, environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and other materials investment considerations. The Intentional Endowments Network shares these statements here as opportunities for endowments to add their names and offer support, at their own discretion. If you have any questions, please contact us and we can connect you with the organizer(s) of the statements.
Statement: Institutional investors coordinating action on SEC proposed changes to Rule 14a-8
Deadline: February 3, 2020
IEN calls for its members to submit a comment letter by February 3rd to oppose two proposals issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that would limit shareholders’ ability to file resolutions at the annual meetings of publicly traded companies. Under the existing rule, the minimum stock ownership necessary to file a resolution at a corporation’s annual meeting is $2,000, which must be held for at least one year. The SEC is proposing instead that shareholders would have to own $25,000 of the target company’s stock for at least one year or $15,000 for at least two years. Smaller shareholders who own at least $2,000 but less than $15,000 worth of the company’s stock would have to wait three years to file a resolution.
The SEC also proposes to change how much support a resolution must win—measured by the percentage of the shares voted—in order to be resubmitted in subsequent years. The proposal changes these thresholds from 3 percent (first year), 6 percent (second year) and 10 percent (third and subsequent years) to 5 percent, 15 percent and 25 percent Moreover, proposals that win more than 25 percent (but less than 50 percent) support may be excluded in a subsequent year if the support drops by 10 percent from the previous year’s level.
Deadline: November 22, 2019
In the run-up to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in September, Ceres is looking for investors to sign on to their Global Investor Statement to Governments on Climate Change.
The statement – signed currently by a record number of investors – declares strong investor support for the Paris Agreement and the implementation of its goals. It calls on governments to:
- Achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals;
- Accelerate private sector investment into the low carbon transition; and
- Commit to improve climate-related financial reporting.
The statement was sent to the leaders of the G20 nations and re-launched publicly in advance of the G20 Summit in Osaka in June 2019. It will be updated and showcased at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Change Summit in New York in September, and will subsequently form the basis on engagements with governments in the run-up to COP25 in Santiago in December. Your support for this statement would be a valuable addition to the significant base of existing signatories, at a key moment in the international climate negotiations.
To add your organization’s name to the statement, please complete the short form at this link: https://theinvestoragenda.org/areas-of-impact/policy-advocacy/
There is no cost to sign the statement and no further actions are required of signatories. The statement will be signed by organization names only – not individuals (no actual signatures are needed).
This statement was drafted through a collaboration among seven groups, under the auspices of the Investor Agenda: the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC), CDP, Ceres, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and UNEP-FI. The statement is final, and no further changes can be made.
By signing the statement, you consent to your organization being listed as active under the policy advocacy focus area of the Investor Agenda.
In addition to signing the global investor statement, we strongly encourage you to take action in the other areas of The Investor Agenda: Investment, Corporate Engagement, and Investor Disclosure. Taking action in all four areas sends an important signal to governments that investors are being ambitious in their action on climate change and are seizing the opportunities associated with the low carbon transition.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please email Chris Fox at email@example.com.
Investor Expectations on Corporate Climate Lobbying
Deadline: August 23, 2019
Add your organization's name to a list of supporters of the statement, “Investor Expectations on Corporate Lobbying on Climate Change.”
To sign your organization onto the letter, follow this link by August 23rd, 2019.
Shareholder engagement with companies on climate lobbying has the potential to be even more impactful since the launch of the Climate Action 100+ initiative in 2018 and other important milestones including:
- An active initiative in Europe where investors addressed 55 CA100+ focus companies. Through the European Investor Expectations on Corporate Climate Lobbying, investors urged companies to pledge to ensure their climate-related lobbying was consistent with the Paris Accord and to review the climate lobbying of their trade associations;
- Over 10 European firms have committed to ensure their own public policy advocacy is consistent with the Paris Accord and review their trade associations in line with these Investor Expectations, including Shell, BP, and Equinor. In fact, Shell moved quickly on its pledge by publishing a report on 19 major global trade associations of which it is a member, ending membership in one and putting others on notice because of their climate lobbying;
- Increased public attention in the U.S. on climate lobbying -- stimulated by discussions of climate legislation at the federal and state level from New York State to Oregon;
- New York City Comptroller’s shareholder resolution at Ford and GM, as well as an investor letter to GM asking them to actively lobby in support of CAFE standards resulting in 19 auto companies writing to the US president and the State of California in support;
- Increasing active leadership by many companies to lobby positively for forwarding-looking government action on climate -- For example, Ceres helped coordinate a lobbying day by companies in Washington, DC in May with companies like BP, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft and PepsiCo visiting members of Congress to advocate for government action and a price on carbon.
The Investor Expectations statement will go to the 47 US-based CA100+ focus companies. Each individual company letter will be sent to the CEO with copies to additional people we have been working with in the company.
The US Investor Expectations on Climate Lobbying letter initiative is being coordinated by Ceres staff with assistance from Walden Asset Management and BNP Paribas Asset Management.
Contact Timothy Smith, Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement, Walden Asset Management firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In February 2019, higher education leaders announced a Call to Action: Guiding Principles for Accelerating Equitable and Just Climate Solutions in response to the recent scientific reports that strongly advise unprecedented action in the next decade to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Institutions are signaling for ambitious cross-sector climate solutions that advance just and equitable sustainability practices on campuses and their surrounding communities.
Developed in coordination with presidents, chancellors, and trustees from higher education institutions of the Climate Leadership Network, the joint declaration took place at the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, an annual event hosted by Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN). The call provides nine guiding principles for higher education institutions to accelerate climate leadership with socially inclusive initiatives and innovative cross-sector partnerships.
Presidents, Chancellors, Trustees, and others with authority to sign on behalf of the institution are invited to do so via the Online Sign-On Form.
The 2019 corporate annual general meeting season has begun, and that means it's time to vote your proxy ballots. Votes in favor of shareholder resolutions in the double digits are very successful in focusing management and investor attention on issues. You can download ICCR's Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide to see the full list of the 250 ICCR resolutions that have been filed for the 2019 proxy season. You can learn more about the shareholder resolutions process here.
Several hundred shareholder resolutions will be coming up for a vote by stockholders this year. You can also see a list of proxy exempt solicitations and proxy memos that lay out the arguments for why you should vote in favor of these resolutions.
With governments around the world struggling to limit the increasing costs of healthcare budgets, it is clear that how pharmaceutical companies manage access-to-medicine risks and opportunities is material to their investors. The Access to Medicine Index is one of the most credible sources of information about how 20 of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies manage a range of value drivers within their business, including pricing models, R&D, governance and compliance. The 6th Access to Medicine Index was published in November 2018.
The Access to Medicine Foundation invites the investor community, including college and university endowments, to sign on the Investor Statement of the Access to Medicine Index, committing to take into account the analysis generated from the Index in their ESG analysis and engagement with pharmaceutical companies. To date, 89 investors collectively managing assets in excess of USD 11 trillion have already signed the Statement.
PRI invites investors to sign on to a statement committing to support a just transition on climate change. Investors can make an important contribution as stewards of assets, allocators of capital and as influential voices in public policy to make sure that the transition produces inclusive and sustainable development
* Please visit the past sign-on opportunities page to review older letters and statements, and the endowment signatories.