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‘Anti-ESG’ groups gain presence at shareholder meeting season

Date: September 28, 2023 Time: 11:29:12

The anti-ESG movement of the Republican Party in the United States gains presence in the season of shareholders meetings of the big American companies this year. Specifically, the percentage of proposals that seek to reverse the ESG profile of companies represents 9% of the proposals presented this year, compared to 5% last year, with a total of 94 points of the day presented so far this year. meeting season, according to a Georgeson report.

The provider of strategic services to shareholders, corporations and shareholder groups working to contribute to corporate strategy, has primarily taken into account the meetings held to date of US companies (particularly those belonging to the Russell 30 00 Index). In them, he has noticed that the vast majority of these proposals are focused on social issues, although there has also been an increase in the number of both governance and environmental proposals from anti-ESG advocates in the 2023 season. None have come out, however. forward and the figures are less than those added by the season of the

In relation to shareholder proposals focused on social issues, ideas submitted increased to 420 to date, up from 409 last year. Even the support received by social factors at a general level was reduced by 6 percentage points, consequently 26% rejections compared to 20% in 2022. Of these, only three shareholder plans received majority support. “Support on almost all issues of social proposals has fallen, with average support for auditing racial equity, reproductive rights and mandatory arbitration of employees declining by more than 10 percentage points,” they settle in the report.

As for the proposals already voted on, so far this season a total of 31 with an ‘anti-ESG’ profile have been voted on. Of these, 20 are linked to the social field, 9 to governance and two to the environment. Neither did they obtain majority support, nor were they approved, reaching an average support of 6%. 18 ESG proposals have been omitted this season and 6 withdrawn, with several more pending voting for the remainder of the meetings. Even so, support for these initiatives against the environment has decreased (from 9.3% to 6.3%), as have all the proposals that have been made in the year at a general level, not only with climate change.

As mentioned in the document, advocates opposed to ESG efforts have continued to focus especially on social issues. 71% of proposals submitted by those opposed to ESG efforts were related to this environment, and the number of anti-ESG social proposals saw a 46% increase (67 in 2023 vs. 46 in 2022). On the other hand, the volume of ideas focused on governance was reduced to 346 (21 of them are against the environment), unlike the 355 that were proposed last year. In environmental settings, only two anti-ESG proposals have been voted on, receiving between 1 and 2% of the vote, a level similar to that of 2022.

34% of the environmental proposals have been withdrawn, omitted or have not been considered at the time of closing the report, they indicate from Georgeson. The Large Number of Withdrawn Proposals in Categories e, s, and g “Suggests That Both Companies And Proponents Are Increasingly Expanding These Issues,” And That These Conversations May Be A More Feasible Way For Proponents To Encourage Action On Related Issues , comments in the study. However, from the company they call, taking into account the results and the change of ‘switch’ of risk investors, that “they would do well to better understand the ESG expectations of their specific investors in general, and in particular the related to climate change, diversity, equity and inclusion, and board structure”.

“Companies would do well to better understand the ESG expectations of their investors and in particular those related to climate change”

The problem with this situation is that for some months the American deniers have continued to put pressure on companies to abandon some aspects of the sustainable path. ‘Trumpism’ and the war have begun to curb support for hardline climate activism and was also reflected in the last shareholder meetings last season, according to the activist group that seeks to accelerate the climate transition in the clothing sector. oil, follow this. For the same reason, in the event that in the next elections the Republican party takes the reins of the country, companies are expected to take more measures like those currently being seen this season.

Even in the season and in the proposals it has been highlighted that a new type of idea has emerged from anti-ESG defenders that they have categorized as “business and society”. This has brought 11 proposals so far in 2023 and consists mainly of shareholders asking companies to report on the risks of the company’s involvement in “non-core” political issues and the consistency of alliances with “globalist organizations”. “. In addition, deniers are beginning to use oversight proposals that ask the board to create committees focused on social and environmental issues, including decarbonization risk, discrimination risk, and overall corporate sustainability but linked and scrutinized from a anti-ESG perspective.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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