Environmental and social issues are playing a larger role in companies’ agenda and policy, especially with the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement and constant scientific evidence pointing toward climate change and an increase in natural disasters. A key driver of this policy is the shareholder, and according to new data, these policies are being accepted by this important group at greater rates.
According to Bloomberg, four companies from the Russell 3000 recently had environmental proposals receive a majority of support from investors in 2020. That’s a surge from 2019, which received zero environmental policies with a majority of shareholder support. The proposals focused on methane emissions, climate lobbying, climate change risk and sustainability reports from companies like Dollar Tree, Chevron and JPMorgan Chase.
Several proposals focused on social issues have also received a majority of shareholder support in 2020. The proposals focus on political contributions, human rights and diversity on the board from companies like O’Reilly Automotive and Chemed.
Investments in environmental, social and governance (ESG) proposals are gaining steam with companies and long-term investors. It remains unclear whether companies will start acting faster on long-term strategies agreed on by shareholders but it does show that outside investors can have significant leverage in pushing companies to be cleaner and conscientious.