Environmentalists Endorse Green Shareholder Resolutions
Washington DC — At the outset of the 2005 corporate proxy voting season, Friends of the Earth announced that 5 environmental groups were endorsing a total of some 49 pro-environment shareholder resolutions filed at companies such as ChevronTexaco and Avon. Shareholder resolutions, proposals that are introduced by and voted upon by a company’s shareholders, are an increasingly important tool in challenging corporate threats to the environment.
“Friends of the Earth calls on people and institutions to claim their power as shareholders — through retirement plans, mutual funds, or endowments – to demand more environmentally responsible corporate behavior,” said Michelle Chan-Fishel, coordinator of Friends of the Earth’s Green Investments program. “The variety of resolutions that different environmental groups are endorsing shows that we believe challenging and changing corporate behavior is a key to environmental progress.”
The environmental groups have endorsed resolutions that advocate improved environmental policies, performance, or disclosure; or the elimination of environmentally harmful projects or practices. Major categories of environmental resolutions include: global warming, energy, genetically engineered food, environmentally sensitive areas, toxics, and sustainability reporting.
One such resolution is a shareholder proposal at Avon requesting that the company reformulate all their products to meet new European Union toxics regulations aimed at phasing out chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects in cosmetics products.
“Many leading companies and their investors are realizing that making safer, greener products is not only better for their customers and the planet, but better for their bottom line,” said Lisa Archer, coordinator of Friends of the Earth’s Health and Environment Program. “We hope that Avon will join competitors like Revlon and L’Oreal in demonstrating its commitment to the highest standards of product safety by reformulating its products worldwide to EU standards and exploring safe alternatives to all chemicals of concern.”
The five environmental groups are Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, US Public Interest Research Group, Bluewater Network, and the Center for International Environmental Law. (Note: each of these groups endorsed most of the 49 resolutions; not every organization has expertise on every individual resolution.)
For a complete list of endorsers and resolutions, visit www.foe.org/greenresolutions.