Shareholder Engagement: ESG Key Issue of the Week
Posted on December 8th, 2016 by OWLinsightseducation ESG impact sustainability
Rather than throw our weekly dart at the SASB Materiality Map, today I want to hijack this feature to talk about something special that ESG allows shareholders to do.
After my presentation at the recent SRI Conference in Denver, I became acquainted with Andrew Behar’s book The Shareholder Action Guide. It’s a powerful account of how much leverage an average shareholder can apply when encouraging corporations to consider ESG factors in their operations.
I thought I knew a lot about shareholder engagement, but this book is eye-opening. Behar presents a series of case studies (many in conjunction with his organization As You Sow) to illustrate the process of encouraging corporate change. He makes a strong case that stewarding investments’ behavior is not just a shareholder’s right but their responsibility.
Most inspiring of all is how simple the book makes it seem. Yes, shareholder engagement requires work, time, and patience. But Behar lays out a roadmap for engaging companies with best practices, resources for collaboration and assistance, and alternative courses of action when nothing else seems to be working.
This book is a must-read for the concerned investor. We’ll probably run a longer review soon (complete with quotes and spoilers), but we wanted to get the word out sooner than later.
It’s up to each of us owners to stand up for what’s right. This book gives us the tools we need to pursue positive change.