Reports

As You Sow has produced over two dozen reports on a wide range of issues. Click a report subject below to navigate.



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Aligning Defined Contribution Plans with Corporate Sustainability Goals

— October 30th 2017

As millennial-aged employees now represent the majority of the U.S. workforce, it is increasingly important that corporate management finds ways to engage them in the company. Creating defined contribution plans which connect to their core values – like solving human, social and environmental problems through their work and investments – can spur employee engagement and spark innovation.

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CLEAN 200™: Investing in a Clean Energy Future (2017 Q3)

— August 15th 2017

One year to the day from the launch of our first Clean200 report, and eightSix months into the new US administration, we will present our analysis into how large-cap clean energy companies haves performed against dirty energy. Join us as we discuss the Clean200, an assessment of the 200 global clean energy companies internationally.companies that today are creating the clean energy future. A growing movement of investors representing more than $5.23.4tn in assets under management have signed a pledge to divested some portion of their fossil fuel investmentsholdings. But where to invest this capital? The Clean200 list ranks the largest publicly listed companies by their total clean energy revenues, with a few added environmental, social, and governance screens to help ensure the companies are indeed building the infrastructure and services needed for what many have called the “Great Energy Transition” in a just and equitable way. Notably, this new report highlights the fact that clean energy investments greatly outperform stagnating fossil fuel stocks.

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Roundup Revealed: Glyphosate in our Food System

GMOs and Pesticides — June 6th 2017

Executive Summary Glyphosate, the key ingredient in the widely used herbicide Roundup®, has sparked a battle over the future of food. Over the past decade, it has become the most widely used and heavily applied herbicide in history. The majority of genetically engineered (GE) crops in the U.S. are designed to survive …

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Proxy Voting Guidelines 2017

— March 28th 2017

The 2017 edition of our Proxy Voting Guidelines, written in consultation with Proxy Impact, offers socially responsible investors a resource to align their investments with their values. With advocacy positions on issues related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposals, our Guidelines provide an easy way to navigate the issues, learn what’s at stake, and make sure your vote is counted.

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Proxy Preview 2017

Proxy Preview — March 8th 2017

Climate change proposals continue to ask about its strategic implications and how companies will adapt to physical changes, new regulations and new technologies. They also address methane leaks from U.S. energy production and encourage more carbon tracking and goal-setting, but renewable energy proposals have been cut in half. New climate-related resolutions ask about high-carbon asset divestment and carbon finance risks. Other environmental issues include antibiotic resistance in the meat supply chain, the reduction of food waste and nanomaterials in infant formula.

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CLEAN 200™: Investing in a Clean Energy Future (2017)

— February 21st 2017

Over the past six years, and growing dramatically leading up to and post-Paris COP 21 and Marrakesh COP 22, a movement of institutional and individual investors representing more than $5tn in assets under management have divested a portion of their fossil fuel investments and committed to divesting the balance in the next five years. The corollary of divesting fossil fuels is re-investing in the clean energy future. As an invitation to a larger discussion of how we can invest in a clean energy future, we created the Carbon Clean 200 (Clean200TM)—a list of the 200 largest companies worldwide ranked by their total clean energy revenues.

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The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs: Are Fund Managers Asleep at the Wheel?

Executive Compensation — February 13th 2017

CEO pay grew an astounding 997% over the past 36 years, greatly outpacing the growth in the cost of living, the productivity of the economy, and the stock market, disproving the claim that the growth in CEO pay reflects the “performance” of the company, the value of its stock, or the ability of the CEO to do anything but disproportionately raise the amount of his or her pay.

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Disclosing the Facts 2016: Transparency and Risk in Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

Hydraulic Fracturing — December 14th 2016

While the coal industry used its recent setbacks as an opportunity to shuck off environmental responsibilities, 20 of 28 oil and gas companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) actually improved their scores in an annual investor report card ranking the companies on how they report their policies to reduce risks from fracking operations. Even so, much work remains to be done, with seven out of 10 fracking companies still earning failing scores.

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Clean 200™: Investing in a Clean Energy Future (2016)

— August 14th 2016

Over the past year, a growing movement of investors representing more than $3.4tn in assets under management have divested some portion of their fossil fuel investments. But where to invest this capital? The Clean200 ranks the largest publicly listed companies by their total clean energy revenues, with a few added environmental, social, and governance screens to help ensure the companies are indeed building the infrastructure and services needed for what many have called the “Great Energy Transition” in a just and equitable way. Notably, this new report highlights the fact that clean energy investments greatly outperform stagnating fossil fuel stocks.

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Unconventional Risks: The Growing Uncertainty of Oil Investments

Climate Change — July 13th 2016

Unconventional Risks: The Growing Uncertainty of Oil Investments, addresses a series of transformative changes in the global oil market, including sharply rising costs of reserve replacement, competition from new technologies, a global imperative to quickly reduce carbon, and the potential for demand disruptions. The report considers the financial stress these factors are causing and looks at possible future directions for these companies.

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Proxy Preview 2016

Proxy Preview — March 8th 2016

Proxy Preview 2016 covers social and environmental shareholder resolutions filed so far this proxy season, with political spending and climate change driving the majority of the activity. The report provides analysis and expert insight to help you navigate the issues and successfully vote your shares.

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Proxy Voting Guidelines 2016

— March 7th 2016

The 2016 edition of our Proxy Voting Guidelines, written in consultation with Proxy Impact, offers socially responsible investors a resource to align their investments with their values. With advocacy positions on issues related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposals, our Guidelines provide an easy way to navigate the issues, learn what’s at stake, and make sure your vote is counted.

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The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs: Are Fund Managers Asleep at the Wheel? (2016)

Executive Compensation — February 17th 2016

CEO pay grew an astounding 997% over the past 36 years, greatly outpacing the growth in the cost of living, the productivity of the economy, and the stock market, disproving the claim that the growth in CEO pay reflects the “performance” of the company, the value of its stock, or the ability of the CEO to do anything but disproportionately raise the amount of his or her pay.

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Disclosing the Facts 2015

Hydraulic Fracturing — January 8th 2016

Disclosing the Facts 2015 is the fourth in a series of investor reports intended to promote improved operating practices among oil and gas companies engaged in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing operations often use toxic chemicals and high volumes of water, release significant levels of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and have the potential to adversely impact local communities when not properly managed. These issues translate into financial risks to companies and shareholders in the form of fines, regulations, or threats to companies’ social license to operate.

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Green Muni Bonds Playbook

Climate Change — July 28th 2015

This fifteen page report provides guidance for cities and other public entities that issue municipal bonds to pay for infrastructure such as energy, water and transportation. It describes the state of the market, the benefits of issuing green bonds, how the market defines what is green and the steps cities need to take to access this growing market.

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Proxy Voting Guidelines 2015

— April 21st 2015

Our Proxy Voting Guidelines, written in consultation with Proxy Impact, offers socially responsible investors a resource to align their investments with their values. With advocacy positions on issues related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposals, our Guidelines provide an easy way to navigate the issues, learn what’s at stake, and make sure your vote is counted.

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Proxy Preview 2015

Proxy Preview — March 17th 2015

Proxy Preview 2015 covers the record-breaking 433 social and environmental shareholder resolutions filed so far this proxy season, with political spending and climate change driving the majority of the activity. The report provides analysis and expert insight to help you navigate the issues and successfully vote your shares.

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The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs 2015

Executive Compensation — February 18th 2015

CEO pay has grown nearly 1,000% over the past four decades, far exceeding growth in median worker pay or company share prices. Our new report, The 100 Most Overpaid CEOs: Executive Compensation at S&P 500 Companies, highlights the 100 most overpaid CEOs and examines the forces behind the trend of …

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Waste and Opportunity 2015

Consumer Packaging — January 28th 2015

Waste and Opportunity 2015, a new report from As You Sow and the Natural Resources Defense Council, takes an in-depth look at the packaging practices of 47 fast food chains, beverage companies, and consumer goods, highlighting leaders and laggards in the field.

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Disclosing the Facts 2014

Hydraulic Fracturing — December 10th 2014

Disclosing the Facts 2014: Transparency and Risk in Hydraulic Fracturing Operations, an update to our 2013 report analyzing whether companies report their practices and progress in reducing risks of their hydraulic fracturing operations, was released today by As You Sow, Boston Common Asset Management, Green Century Capital Management, and the Investor Environmental Health Network.

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Green Bonds in Brief

Climate Change — October 31st 2014

Green Bonds in Brief: Risk, Reward, and Opportunity, a new report from As You Sow and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, offers a look at how green bonds are directing funds to environmental projects.

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Proxy Preview 2014

Proxy Preview — March 14th 2014

Proxy Preview 2014 covers the record-breaking 417 social and environmental shareholder resolutions filed this proxy season, with political spending and climate change driving the majority of the activity.

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Disclosing the Facts 2013

Hydraulic Fracturing — November 22nd 2013

Companies across the board are failing to report reductions of their impacts on communities and the environment from hydraulic fracturing.

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Cleantech Redefined

Climate Change — October 26th 2013

After years in development, cleantech is now going mainstream. Cleantech infrastructure, technology and services are revolutionizing how we make, grow, transport and consume things. They're helping the world meet energy demands. They're creating livelihoods and prosperity in uncertain economies. Is there still time for investors to make good returns in cleantech? Yes. Here's why.

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The Reinvestment Handbook: Green Endowments Initiative

Climate Change — July 22nd 2013

The Reinvestment Handbook is a resource for the next generation of responsible investors. It is designed to help students better understand their university endowment, the key pillars of SRI funds including screening for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals, performance of ESG investments, funds, and portfolios, and basic finance concepts.

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Proxy Preview 2013

Proxy Preview — July 8th 2013

Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations seeking to help investors align their values with their investments. This ninth edition of the Proxy Preview provides an overview of upcoming votes on environmental and social shareholder resolutions—including advocacy sections for 2013´s most prominent issues.

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Slipping Through the Cracks: An Issue Brief on Nanomaterials in Foods

Nanomaterials — July 2nd 2013

Slipping Through the Cracks is designed to inform companies, investors, and consumers about the emerging use of engineered nanomaterials in food and food related products. It highlights the potential risks of nanotechnology for companies who are knowingly or unknowingly using it in their products and for public health.

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The Coal Divestment Toolkit: Moving Endowments Beyond Coal

Carbon Divestment — July 26th 2013

Divestment is the process of selling an asset for either financial or social goals. Divestment is a powerful way to take a stand against companies involved in an activity that is morally reprehensible. This strategy has been used to send a strong message and to force change in corporate policies and governance. Through divestment campaigns, shareholders (the people and organizations that own corporate stock) take responsibility for the actions of the companies they own and demand change or sell their shares.

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Proxy Preview 2012

Proxy Preview — July 12th 2012

This eighth edition of the Proxy Preview provides an overview of upcoming votes on environmental and social shareholder resolutions—including advocacy sections for 2012´s most prominent issues and case studies of successful dialogues. Our team of issue experts will highlight this year´s key issues, including corporate political spending, lobbying, sexual orientation non-discrimination, board diversity, coal, fracking, supply chain transparency, extended producer responsibility, and animal welfare.

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Unfinished Business: The Case for Extended Producer Responsibility for Post-Consumer Packaging

Consumer Packaging — July 8th 2012

In Unfinished Business: The Case for Extended Producer Responsibility for Post-Consumer Packaging, As You Sow describes how extended producer responsibility would boost the U.S. packaging recycling rates and transform how recycling is funded.

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Update: Financial Risks of Investments in Coal

Coal — July 8th 2012

As You Sow's Update to the White Paper provides a snapshot of the current trends underlying five financial risks for investments in coal: for mining companies, they are driving shifts in generator demand away from coal; for electric utilities, they are making “cheap coal” costly compared to other generating options or increased efficiency.

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Clean & Green: Best Practices in Photovoltaics

Cleantech (Past) — July 8th 2012

Clean & Green: Best Practices in Photovoltaics highlights the best practices of photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers to protect workers and the environment during the production of solar panels. This report presents, in non-scientific language, the process of manufacturing PV panels, the risks involved, and how companies mitigate those risks. It focuses on practices and policies companies use to mitigate risks from hazardous compounds, reduce environmental impact, and responsibly manage their supply chains.

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Proxy Preview 2011

Proxy Preview — July 8th 2011

Proxy Preview 2011 is the revamped seventh edition of an annual report than in 2008 the Chicago Tribune called the "bible for socially progressive foundations, religious groups, pension funds, and tax-exempt organizations." It is a comprehensive review of the nearly 400 social and environmental resolutions that investors have filed at companies this spring.

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Sourcing Framework For Food and Food Packaging Products Containing Nanomaterials

Nanomaterials — July 8th 2011

As You Sow's first-of-its-kind framework is designed to help food companies make informed decisions regarding sourcing products containing nanomaterials.

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White Paper: Financial Risks of Investments in Coal

Coal — July 8th 2011

In June 2011, As You Sow released White Paper: Financial Risks of Investments in Coal that lays out the financial risks of continued reliance on coal for electricity generation.

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Waste & Opportunity: U.S. Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report

Consumer Packaging — April 3rd 2011

As You Sow’s third scorecard and report on beverage container recycling evaluates new and ongoing efforts by beverage producers to reduce source materials, create recyclable product packaging, and increase container recovery rates.

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Toward a Safe, Just Workplace: Apparel Supply Chain Compliance Programs

— July 10th 2010

More than a decade ago, apparel companies began to adopt vendor codes of conduct to avoid risks associated with sweatshop conditions in their supply chains. But it's been unclear which major brands actually adopted substantive policies and programs to address this daunting issue. "Toward a Safe, Just Workplace: Apparel Supply …

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Best Current Practices in Purchasing: The Apparel Industry

— July 10th 2010

For the past 15 years, many apparel companies have been actively monitoring their supply chains. Throughout, the majority has looked to factory owners and managers to make changes in factory conditions and operations to comply with local laws and meet brand compliance requirements. To meet requirements, demands were placed on …

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Proxy Preview 2010

Proxy Preview — July 8th 2010

This sixth edition of Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations seeking to help investors align their values with their investments. It provides an overview of upcoming votes on environmental and social shareholder resolutions—including advocacy sections for the year's most prominent issues.

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Seeking Safer Packaging: Ranking Packaged Food Companies on BPA

Bisphenol A — July 8th 2010

This report by Green Century and As You Sow builds on the first edition of Seeking Safer Packaging, published in April 2009, which ranked food and beverage companies on their efforts to address BPA in their product packaging. In this edition, the number of companies analyzed has expanded to include major U.S. retail companies that sell private-label canned products.

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Seeking Safer Packaging: Ranking Packaged Food Companies on BPA

Bisphenol A — July 12th 2009

Seeking Safer Packaging, published in April 2009, ranks food and beverage companies on their efforts to address BPA in their product packaging. Consumers, the media, and public officials alike are becoming increasingly concerned about bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting chemical used in hard clear plastic and can linings.

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Proxy Preview 2009

Proxy Preview — July 8th 2009

This fifth edition of Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations seeking to help investors align their values with their investments. It provides an overview of upcoming votes on environmental and social shareholder resolutions—including advocacy sections for the year's most prominent issues.

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Project Kaleidoscope: A Collaborative and Dynamic Approach to Code of Conduct Compliance

— January 8th 2016

McDonald's Corp., Walt Disney Co., and a group of organizations working to improve working conditions in company supply chains, including As You Sow, announced the release of a report on Project Kaleidoscope, a multi-year collaborative project designed to promote sustained compliance with labor standards mandated by corporate codes of conduct for manufacturers.

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Waste & Opportunity: U.S. Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report

Consumer Packaging — July 8th 2008

The 2008 Waste and Opportunity Report is based primarily on responses to As You Sow’s Beverage Container Recycling Survey, which was sent to 23 beverage companies and on publicly available information from websites and corporate social responsibility reports. Seven companies responded to the survey.

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Proxy Preview 2008

Proxy Preview — July 8th 2008

This fourth edition of Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations seeking to help investors align their values with their investments. It provides an overview of upcoming votes on environmental and social shareholder resolutions—including advocacy sections for the year's most prominent issues.

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Proxy Preview 2007

Proxy Preview — July 8th 2007

This third edition of Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations seeking to help investors align their values with their investments. It provides an overview of upcoming votes on environmental and social shareholder resolutions—including advocacy sections for the year's most prominent issues.

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Waste & Opportunity: U.S. Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report

Consumer Packaging — July 8th 2006

This report identifies efforts by beverage producers to use more recycled content in their containers, to increase recovery and recycling, and to reduce material use. Twelve leading beverage companies received the survey and five companies responded to the survey. All twelve companies were evaluated by using publicly available information from websites and annual reports, and on the basis of survey responses.

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Proxy Preview 2006

Proxy Preview — July 8th 2006

This second edition of Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations seeking to help investors align their values with their investments. It provides an overview of upcoming votes on environmental and social shareholder resolutions—including advocacy sections for the year's most prominent issues.

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Monsanto & Genetic Engineering: Risk for Investors

GMOs and Pesticides — July 12th 2005

The controversy over genetically modified food has the potential to result in large-scale market and consumer backlash, which together pose material risks for investors of companies using GMOs. These material risks include the potential for financial liability if their company’s products result in environmental or health problems.

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Proxy Preview 2005

Proxy Preview — July 8th 2005

This first edition of Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations seeking to help investors align their values with their investments. It provides an overview of upcoming votes on environmental and social shareholder resolutions—including advocacy sections for the year's most prominent issues.