Southern Company

Southern Company is a diversified energy company involved in generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.

Calling for Climate Action, $5 Billion in Southern Co. Shares Vote for Proposal Seeking Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Shareholders Ask Utility to Address Coal Pollution, Citing Financial Risks

Citing climate change impacts and financial risks of carbon-intense coal assets, shareholders representing billions of dollars in investments voted for greenhouse gas reduction targets at Southern Company’s recent annual shareholder meeting. The proposal, filed by the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth and co-filed by As You Sow, received support from investors representing $5 billion in shares. Over one in five voting shares supported the resolution.

Read our full statement

Southern Company, which is responsible for over 1.5% of the United State’s total carbon dioxide emissions, has the fourth highest level of coal use of U.S. power producers. Southern Company has not adopted greenhouse gas reduction targets nor has made public plans or commitments to reduce the company’s carbon emissions. In 2013, the company stopped completing the Carbon Disclosure Report, suggesting backsliding on their carbon management. Indeed, Southern Company’s carbon emissions increased in 2014. These red flags sparked investor concern about the utility’s forward-looking competitiveness and profitability, underscored by the company’s flagging stock performance in 2015.

Read more about our engagements with Southern Company below.

Carbon Asset Risk 2017

STATUS: Withdrawn; Company will address

BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Southern Company prepare a report disclosing the financial risks to the Company of stranded assets related to climate change and associated coal demand reductions. The report should omit proprietary information and be prepared at reasonable cost.

Filing Documents

Related 2017 Engagements

Methane 2017

STATUS: Withdrawn; Company will address

BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Southern Company issue a report describing how it will reduce climate risk by controlling its methane emissions, including disclosing its current enterprise-wide methane emissions and the practices used by the Company to measure, monitor, and mitigate methane emissions. The report should be produced at reasonable cost, omitting proprietary information.

Filing Documents

Related 2017 Engagements

Carbon Asset Risk 2016

STATUS: 29.7%

BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Southern Company prepare a report by September 2016, omitting proprietary information and at reasonable cost, quantifying potential financial losses to the company associated with stranding of its coal assets under a range of scenarios for climate change driven regulations that mandate greenhouse gas reductions beyond those required by the Clean Power Plan. Such report should include possible financial losses if coal gasification and/or CCS is rejected by policymakers as a technical climate mitigation strategy, or if they cannot be cost effectively implemented. Shareholders also request that Southern disclose, in the report, its total investments in CCS and coal gasification technologies.

Filing Documents

Related 2016 Engagements

PP17 Contributors - DRAFT ONLY 2016

STATUS: Withdrawn; Company will address

BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders of The Southern Company (the "Company") hereby request the Company to prepare and semiannually update a report, which shall be presented to the pertinent board of directors committee and posted on the Company’s website, that discloses the Company’s– (a) Policies and procedures for making political contributions and expenditures (both direct and indirect) with corporate funds, including the board (and pertinent board committee’s) role in that process, and (b) Monetary and non-monetary political contributions or expenditures that could not be deducted as an “ordinary and necessary” business expense under section 162(e) of the Internal Revenue Code; this would include (but not be limited to) contributions to or expenditures on behalf of entities organized and operating under sections 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as the portion of any dues or payments that are made to any tax-exempt organization (such as a trade association) and that are used for an expenditure or contribution that, if made directly by the Company, would not be deductible under section 162(e) of the Internal Revenue Code. The report shall be made available within 12 months of the annual meeting and identify all recipients and the amount paid to each recipient from Company funds.

Filing Documents

Press

Related 2016 Engagements

Climate Change 2015

STATUS: 22.1%

BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Southern Company adopt absolute, quantitative time-bound goals for reducing total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from operations and report to shareholders by November 1, 2015 on its plans to achieve these goals (omitting proprietary information and prepared at reasonable cost.)

Filing Documents

Press

Related 2015 Engagements

Coal 2014

STATUS: Withdrawn; Company will address

Shareholders request that the Southern Company prepare a report, reviewed by a board committee of independent directors, on policies the company could adopt to take additional near-term actions to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the national goal of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The report should be published by October 1, 2014 at a reasonable cost and omit proprietary information.

Filing Documents

Press

Related 2014 Engagements