How shareholders are learning to say “Yes, but”

Sustainable shareholder bg  1NI Managing Partner Michael Kramer’s most recent “Sustainable Shareholder” column is now up on GreenBiz.com; in it, he addresses one of the themes he’s been covering in the NI newsletter for years, shareholder activism.  Here’s a teaser, but be sure to go read the whole thing on GreenBiz!

Socially responsible investors have long practiced the art of saying no. Now, many are learning that saying “Yes, but” can be just as effective — and sometimes even more so.

A growing number of investors are using the power of share ownership to engage management in dialogue about corporate practices. Their reasoning: environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues can pose material financial risks to companies, and therefore shareholder value may be affected.

Several hundred institutional investors totaling over $1.5 trillion in assets have filed nearly 2000 resolutions in the past few years, and through this work have persuaded numerous companies to make changes from better disclosing climate risk to allowing employees to unionize.

Shareholders want to know which companies are leading the way towards responsibility and accountability, and which ones are resistant. More and more investors want to invest in companies that can turn a profit without comprising the health and welfare of people or degrading the environment that supports our communities and economy. And those investors are becoming increasingly willing to encourage the laggards to embrace corporate responsibility.

Read the rest of this piece in Michael’s Sustainable Shareholder column on GreenBiz.com

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Michael Kramer

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