Socially Responsible Investing - Modern Applications - Shareholder Advocacy

Shareholder Advocacy

Shareholder resolutions are filed by a wide variety of institutional investors, including public pension funds, faith-based investors, socially responsible mutual funds, and labor unions. In 2004, faith-based organizations filed 129 resolutions, while socially responsible funds filed 56 resolutions.

Regulations governing shareholder resolutions vary from country to country. In the United States, they are determined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which also requires mutual funds to disclose how they voted on behalf of their investors. U.S. shareholders have organized various groups to facilitate jointly filing resolutions. These include the Council of Institutional Investors, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, and the US SIF.

From 2008 through 2010, more than 200 US institutions and investment management firms filed or co-filed proposals. These institutions and money managers collectively controlled $1.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2009. The top categories of environmental and social issues from 2007 to 2010 were political contributions and climate change and environmental issues.

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