How Local Leaders Can Increase Their Impact…
On December 13th, Blue Summit hosted an event for local environmental and social advocate leaders to explore how they can use shareholder activism as a tool to further their mission.
Our presenter was Andrew Behar, CEO of the San Francisco-based non profit group As You Sow, who’ve been promoting environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy since 1997.
Mr. Behar presented to a group of non-profit leaders about his work, highlighting As You Sow’s current shareholder campaign, asking companies to disclose the risks of hydraulic fracturing, also called “fracking”. In addition, we explored how we could utilize the power of shareholder engagement as a way to influence companies, locally or globally, in a way that would contribute to the mission of each participants’ organization.
After some discussion about what issues might be worth addressing, and considering some common points of interest, we ended by identifying what other groups or individuals might be helpful to include in the conversation. Our objective is to host another similar educational event toward the end of next quarter, with the intention of forming a coalition of local investors who can represent one or more issues of importance at the shareholder level.
About Shareholder Engagement…
As an owner of stock, you may have the right to engage with a company’s executives in order to influence their operations. Individuals who ban together have been able to collectively address publicly traded companies with significant ownership weight, creating a powerful mechanism for improving company policies.
Shareholder success stories range from decreasing e-waste at Best Buy to improving the labor standards for apparel workers at Gap. A list of As You Sow’s Key Successes can be found here on their website. In Addition, USSIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment has a general description of Shareholder Engagement here on their website including a list of some of the industry’s past successes here.
If you are a high net-worth investor or are involved with donor relations for a mission-driven organization, please contact us for a list of specific issues alongside their corresponding investment strategies that you or your donors may consider employing to increase the impact of your investments.