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As You Sow Planting Seeds For Social Change


Founded in 1992, As You Sow promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. Our efforts create large-scale systemic change by establishing sustainable and equitable corporate practices.

As You Sow was founded on the belief that many environmental and human rights issues can be resolved by increased corporate responsibility. As investor representatives, we communicate directly with corporate executives to collaboratively develop and implement business models that reduce risk, benefit brand reputation, and protect long term shareholder value while simultaneously bringing about positive change for the environment and human rights.

We build coalitions with shareholder allies including socially responsible investors (SRIs), pension funds, labor groups, foundations, and faith-based investor communities. Through proactive dialogue, these coalitions educate and encourage companies to reform policies and practices with negative environmental and social impacts. If dialogue alone is insufficient we file shareholder resolutions and reach out to institutional investors, media outlets, and proxy analysts to raise awareness and advocate for change.

We have led or actively participated in hundreds of shareholder dialogues and resolutions. The many companies whose policies and practices have been impacted by our work include: Chevron, ExxonMobil, Duke Energy, FirstEnergy, General Electric, McDonald's, Safeway, Whole Foods, Yum! Brands, Apple, Dell, HP, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé Waters, Starbucks, Target, Gap, Home Depot, Walt Disney, and DuPont.

As You Sow continues to tackle some of the most important environmental and social issues facing the world today. Our program areas include:

  • ENERGY with initiatives in Climate Change, Coal, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Cleantech. We seek to protect children, families, and communities from the toxic byproducts and carbon pollution caused by burning fossil fuels for energy, and to ensure that the cleantech industry is not only clean, but green.

  • ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH with initiatives in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Nanomaterials, and Toxic Enforcement. We press companies to address the health and environmental risks of toxic materials often found in food and consumer products. We also test products for known carcinogens and reproductive toxicants under Prop 65 and engage in litigation with companies to remove harmful chemicals from everyday consumer products.

  • WASTE with initiatives in Consumer Packaging and Electronic Waste. We advocate for responsible production and recycling of consumer products, packaging, and electronics to reduce the demand on limited natural resources. This program area is building momentum under the international standard of extended producer responsibility (EPR), which shifts the responsibility for collecting and recycling to producers, thereby incentivizing companies to create more efficiency and less waste.

  • HUMAN RIGHTS with initiatives in Cotton and Minerals. We work to eliminate forced child labor and slavery in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan and the mineral mines of the Congo. This program area is run through Responsible Sourcing Network, a project of As You Sow, and creates change by building coalitions of companies, investors, non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders to share best practices and take coordinated action.



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