(Published in the Winter 2014 Issue of Investing For a Better World)
Much of the shareholder engagement that our advocacy team, and the SRI industry, does is focused on asking companies to provide more and better information to their customers and investors. Information about a company’s Environmental, Social and Governance practices is essential and we believe that it should be readily available, both to consumers and investors.
As an example of our industry’s success, 25 years ago only a small handful of the most progressive companies published environmental reports. Earlier this year it was reported that every company in the S&P 500, except one, publishes some form of sustainability disclosure. The integration of financial and sustainability reporting has a long way to go, but sustainability reporting is now mainstream.
During this shareholder season Trillium is, once again, working with a broad coalition of investors to move corporations toward more sustainable business practices. On behalf of our clients, our shareholder advocacy team has already filed over a dozen shareholder resolutions. In addition to engaging companies on board diversity, greenhouse gas emission and non-discrimination issues, our team is asking companies for greater transparency on
- Methane Emissions
- Political Contributions
- Lobbying Spending;
In this issue, you can read more about our collaboration with other concerned investors as we filed a shareholder resolution with Verizon, and co-filed with AT&T, requesting that these companies publish semi-annual reports detailing how often they have shared customer information with either U.S. or foreign governments and what type of information has been shared.
Trillium strives to achieve the same level of diligence and reporting that we ask of companies with whom we interact. GIIRS (Global Impact Investing Rating System), an independent third-party system for assessing the social and environmental impact of developed and emerging market companies and funds, has published its 2013 assessment of Trillium. I am pleased to share that our firm has received a “5 Star” rating, placing Trillium in the top quintile of GIIRS-rated companies. You can find the report here.