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.
Comment Letters to DOL: Opposing proposed rule that reduces proxy voting
Deadline: October 5, 2020
On August 31st, the Department of Labor announced a new proposed rule on proxy voting by
fiduciaries of ERISA-governed retirement plans, “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and
Shareholder Rights” (proposal text). The proposed rule intends to reduce proxy voting, especially on environmental and social issues. It sets up a dynamic where ERISA funds will be encouraged not to vote most proxies or to defer to corporate management recommendations when they do vote, out of fear of becoming
subject to regulatory investigations and DOL “harassment.”
IEN members are encouraged to read US SIF's Policy Action Toolkit about the proposed rule, submit a comment letter online opposing the proposed rule, and to share your concerns with your members of Congress.
Comment letters to DOL: Opposing proposed rule that revises fiduciary standard for ERISA-governed retirement plans
Deadline: July 30, 2020
The US Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rulemaking on June 23, 2020 that revises the fiduciary standard for ERISA-governed retirement plans. The proposal attempts to isolate environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria from other financially material information in investments covered under ERISA and implies that all ESG criteria are non-financial.
IEN members are encouraged to submit a comment letter online, opposing the proposed rule to the DOL and to share your concerns with your members of Congress:
Racial Justice Related Opportunities
Statement: Investors call to terminate business with NFL's Redskins franchise
This sign-on opportunity calls on Nike, Pepsi, and FedEx to terminate their business and public relationships with the National Football League's Washington D.C. franchise if it does not stop using the name "Redskins". The inviting group composed of The Onieda Trust, First Peoples Worldwide, Trillium Asset Management, Boston Trust Walden, Boston Common Asset Management, First Affirmative Financial Network, and Mercy Investments have been engaging these companies for years seeking an end to the use of the racist name and logo. Read the letter to Nike, Pepsi, and FedEx and sign on to signal your support. You do not need to be a shareholder to sign.
Statement: Investors release statement of solidarity and call to action to address systemic racism
A group of investors from the Racial Justice Investing (RJI) Coalition have released a statement of solidarity and call to action to address systemic racism. The statement acknowledges the roots of systemic racism and the responsibilities of the investment community, and identifies specific strategies our community can use to dismantle systemic racism. Read the full statement and sign on to signal your support.
Investor Racial Equity Pledge: Call for IEN members to sign on to the 2020 Belonging Pledge – A commitment to advance racial equity
IEN is pleased to partner with Confluence Philanthropy to support the 2020 Belonging Pledge. In response to another brutal death at the hands of police officers that set off a wave of protests and civil unrest, IEN encourages endowments and investors to commit to this pledge to put racial equity on your investment committee agenda this summer. If you would like to sign onto the pledge, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Related Opportunities
Statement: Investor statement calling on federal government to respond to COVID-19 crisis
Deadline: September 11, 2020
US SIF has released a statement communicating concern regarding the lack of a comprehensive federal response to the COVID-19 crisis. The statement calls for immediate action to ensure the safety of the American people, to provide a consistent and safe framework for how various parts of the economy reopen and to lay the foundation for a more just and sustainable future. Read the letter to President Trump, House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader McConnell and sign on.
Statement: Investor statement to the business community on coronavirus response
In the face of this global pandemic, we are all confronting considerable challenges, from our families and communities to our livelihoods and portfolios. Join other responsible investors in urging the business community to stand with us and take bold action to mitigate the worst threats to our society and markets. Read the full statement and sign on.
Statement: Recommendations for the meat sector during COVID-19
As meatpacking and poultry processing plants have emerged as hot spots for COVID-19, this sign on opportunity urges companies to put in place and monitor several recommendations to protect these workers. Read the full statement and sign on.
Statement: Investor statement regarding the need for corporate workplace equity transparency
As You Sow has facilitated a statement focused on investors' needs for greater reporting of key data on diversity and inclusion efforts. This would allow investors to assess and compare the effectiveness of companies' workplace equity programs. View the current signatory list and sign on.
UPDATE to Rule 14a-8: SEC poised to enact regulations limiting shareholder rights in Spring 2020
IEN calls for its members to submit a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or members of Congress urging the SEC to not move forward with voting on the controversial proposed regulations limiting shareholder rights, especially during a time of market uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Vanessa A. Countryman: Secretary, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549-1090, with reference to File No. S7-23-19
Members of Congress: Send letter to your Congressional Representatives. If you have someone who represents you on the Senate Banking Committee or the House Financial Services, please make sure to share letter with them.
Your Stake Petitions
Yourstake.org lists several active petitions for shareholders to engage with the companies in which they invest. Petitions address issues on equal opportunity, accountability, environmental responsibility, health, and human rights. View current petitions and sign on.
2020 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guides
The 2020 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 learn more about the shareholder resolutions process here. You can find resolution and voting guides for the 2020 season listed below.
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.
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.