Power of the Proxy

If you own shares in a company, you have a voice. Shareholders can file proposals at companies whose shares they own, and vote on proposals they want the company to adopt. In the last 40 years, thousands of resolutions filed with companies by shareholders have broken new ground in fostering corporate policies that protect the environment, customers, and the bottom line.

Shareholder activism isn’t just for pension funds and billionaires. If you own shares, it’s simple to vote your “proxy” – the ballot containing resolutions that are up for a vote – by mail, internet, or phone. As a shareholder you can make change in companies by voting on the issues you care about, and use your influence as a shareowner to improve corporate decision-making.

As You Sow’s Proxy Voting Guidelines, produced in partnership with Proxy Impact, offers socially responsible investors a resource to align their investments with their values

Never voted your proxy before? Don’t worry, we have you covered: learn how to vote your shares.

Voting is as easy as checking a few boxes and tossing your ballot in the mail. And it matters. If you don’t vote, your broker may vote for you and against good resolutions, against your wishes.

Shareholder resolutions can create real change. Harness the Power of the Proxy to make sure your voice is heard.

Initiatives within this Program

Executive Compensation
Encouraging shareholders to use the power of the proxy to better control and reduce unjustified CEO pay and to create greater equity in compensation across all publicly traded US companies.

Proxy Preview
Proxy Preview, the report hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the “Bible for socially progressive foundations, religious groups, pension funds, and tax-exempt organizations”, provides an overview of votes on environmental and social shareholder resolutions—including advocacy sections for the year’s most prominent issues.

Fossil Free Funds
Fossil Free Funds is a search platform that enables users to find out if their money, in the form of individual investments or an employer-provided 401(k), is being used to extract and consume fossil fuels. The modern fossil fuel divestment movement grew from a simple realization: if it’s wrong to …

Deforestation Free Funds
Are your investments and savings destroying rainforests? If your retirement plan is managed by Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, or other major asset managers, the answer may be different than you think. Investments in palm oil–the fastest growing cause of rainforest destruction today–are embedded in our retirement accounts and personal portfolios, and most …

2015 Shareholder Engagements