Environment, corporate political spending top proxy season list

The environment and corporate political spending remain key issue areas for shareholder proposals this proxy season, although a number of proposals have also been filed on the opioid crisis, the gender pay gap, and workplace and corporate board diversity, said a report Thursday from non-profit shareholder advocacy groups As You Sow, Sustainable Investments Institute and Proxy Impact.

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Fund managers ‘asleep at the wheel’ over exorbitant executive pay

Rosanna Landis Weaver, programme manager of the CEO pay initiative at As You Sow, said there is growing “awareness of the hazards of outlandish CEO pay packages”. She added: “Unfortunately, awareness has not translated into votes. The rubber-stamping trend continues, even with evidence showing persistent underperformance of the highest paid CEOs.” Andrew Behar, chief executive of As You Sow, added that it was time for the biggest fund managers to realise “how they’re abandoning their fiduciary duty by continuing to approve absurd pay packages”.

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Here are the most overpaid CEOs in America right now

Shareholder advocacy group As You Sow’s annual report of the 100 Most Overpaid CEOs has just been released and, as usual, the salaries of the top CEOs are staggering. Topping this year’s list are Oracle’s co-CEOs Safra A. Catz and Mark Hurd who made a whopping $82,065,708. While that’s not the highest price tag, As You Sow determined they were the most over-compensated CEOs through a complex methodology that you can read here, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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World's greenest companies outperform fossil fuel benchmark by two to one

Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow and report co-author, claimed the results show a "Great Transition" is underway towards a low carbon economy.

"Market forces continue to show that the new energy economy is not only a growth sector, but continues to outperform fossil fuel based energy," he said. "Regardless of politics, investors appear to be following the money."

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Climate on Your Plate

What should climate-conscious people do to eat most sustainably? How people approach their diet is deeply personal and can be extremely controversial. Roughly 1 in 9 people in the world are undernourished. Addressing hunger while making the food chain more sustainable is critical for addressing climate change. Are GMOs the answer to food shortages, or do they jeopardize our crops with destructive cycles of pesticide resistance? Is our appetite for animal protein unsustainable, is worldwide veganism possible? Greg asks farmers, scientists and others what’s best for climate and our health.

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Dunkin' Donuts to stop using foam cups by 2020

"This is a big victory, and it's taken a long time. Dunkin agreed way back in 2010, in theory, to phase out [foam cups], but it took until today for them to actually give a date and to say that they are going to switch to paper... We're talking about some very positive impacts on world oceans in terms of reducing plastic pollution," said Conrad MacKerron, Senior Vice President of As You Sow.

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Shareholder Resolutions Underscore Need For Better Methane Disclosure

Just last week, As You Sow filed a resolution against Chevron urging it to improve methane reporting. Chevron has lagged behind their peers on disclosure and transparency and earned a reputation as one of the more aggressive opponents of commonsense climate rules. EDF is hoping the forthcoming change of leadership will result in the company taking a different tact when it comes to climate.

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McDonald’s Bows to Investor Pressure on Packaging

“They said they had some hoops to jump through,” says Conrad Mackerron, the director of the waste and recycling program at As You Sow. “Just before the holiday, they indicated that they were going to be able to do this. I said, ‘That’s great, but you need to put it on paper.’ But they followed through in the same [way] as when they stuck to their word back in 2012 when they stopped the foam use in the U.S.”

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The world’s largest investment firm wants corporations to “serve a social purpose”

“I appreciated today’s letter, particularly the encouragement not to ‘succumb to short-term pressures to distribute earnings,’” said Rosanna Landis Weaver, program manager at shareholder advocacy group As You Sow, which promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility, in an email, adding that she took his words to be a reference to stock buybacks and dividends — measures often designed to placate shareholders without boosting the long-term value of a company.

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