Shareholders filed or refiled 62 resolutions at 39 companies for consideration at corporate annual meetings between 2006 and 2009. For a listing of resolutions and outcomes, click here.
Shareholders were asked on the corporate proxy to vote on whether they supporte reports to shareholders on:
- corporate safer chemical policies in general
- corporate policies on toxic chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products;
- corporate policies on specific chemicals such as
- polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in products and packaging,
- Bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles and other products, and
- PFOA in food packaging and other applications
- health effects and other issues associated with pesticide manufacture, use, and lobbying.
Resolutions have been followed by concrete actions. For example:
- McDonald's agreed to collect and disseminate information on best practices for pesticide reduction in its U.S. potato supply chain
- Sears Holdings published a PVC phaseout policy
- Whole Foods Market pulled baby bottles and cups containing BPA and phthalates from its shelves in 2006, two years ahead of other retailers
- Apple announced an expedited schedule for phasing out PVC and brominated flame retardants from its products, and
- ConAgra agreed to review methods for reducing or eliminating PFOA from its food packaging.
Resolutions are just the tip of the iceberg of investors’ engagement with companies on toxic chemicals in products. Investors contacted about a dozen companies in the 2005–2006 “proxy season” of corporate annual meetings. This rose to twenty in 2006–2007 and fifty-three in 2007–2008. Frequently investor concerns about corporate policies are satisfied through letters and phone calls and no resolutions are filed.