Investor Coalition Intensifies Efforts To Increase Shareholder Support Of Climate Change Proposals During 2013 Proxy Season

Jan 15, 2013, 13:18 ET from Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Increasing pressure, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility insist that companies respond to the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With growing evidence of man-made contributions to global warming, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) are calling on asset owners to use their voices and their votes to push for stricter GHG reduction goals and to accelerate investments in renewable energy.

ICCR members are sponsoring 28 climate-related proposals this proxy season. Several focus on obvious industries like extractives and utilities. Others, targeting big box retailers, food retailers, the energy-intensive IT sector, and the financial services sector with its power to drive investments in green energy solutions  move into new territory.

While climate change resolutions have garnered increasing support over the years, industry as a whole has been slow to adopt meaningful changes in spite of intensifying weather events and the documented savings that result from a reduced carbon footprint. ICCR members are exhorting shareholders to exercise their votes this proxy season to send a signal to management that heel dragging on climate change will no longer be tolerated.

Said Laura Berry, ICCR's Executive Director, "Every so often an issue of enormous consequence emerges to underscore the importance of 'active' stock ownership. Climate change is one of those issues.  Whether you're an individual or an institutional investor, we strongly urge you to vote your proxies in support of proposals that advocate for GHG reductions and call for investments in green energy."

Said Sr. Patricia Daly of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, "Climate change is a moral issue for many, but particularly so for the religious investors at ICCR who have made it a priority since the 80s. While some companies we engage, like ExxonMobil, clearly lag behind their peers, there are others, like Ford, that are setting the bar for their sectors on emissions targets and on new product development. As a result of ICCR's advocacy, climate risk calculations and GHG reduction targets are now accepted industry norms."

Said Paul Dickinson of the Carbon Disclosure Project, a nonprofit that provides measurement and reporting tools to companies and investors, "It was ICCR members who first helped management understand that those companies that measure and report their environmental risk are better able to manage it strategically and, for that reason, are seen as better investments. Market forces and solid evidence of positive return on investment are the most effective motivators to catalyze change on GHG targets."

Said Bill Somplatsky-Jarman of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., "While environmental groups have been successful in applying pressure from the outside, ICCR members have been making their case to management for decades as insiders. Shareholders have gotten companies to write energy policies where none existed, and to set reduction goals that exceed federal requirements. What we are really looking for this proxy season is even more progress from being on the inside."

ICCR's "2013 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide" detailing all member-sponsored resolutions for this year will be posted this week at

About the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR):

Currently celebrating its 41st year, ICCR is the pioneer coalition of active shareholders who view the management of their investments as a catalyst for change.  Its 300 member organizations with over $100 billion in AUM have an enduring record of corporate engagement that has demonstrated influence on policies promoting justice and sustainability in the world.

SOURCE Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility