Climate change, deforestation, sustainable sourcing. Voices of concern over these issues – and more – aren't only those of activists or the environmental community. Increasingly, disparate stakeholders and investors are chiming in. What was once a murmur is now a chorus, often built into business plans and integrated into corporate agendas.
In a recent preview of the 2013 proxy season, Ernst & Young reported that 45% of shareholder proposals focus on environmental and social topics. Interestingly, nearly one third of climate change and other sustainability proposals were withdrawn, indicating dialogue between corporations and shareholders on these issues that has satisfied both parties.
Shareholder expectations have historically pushed the corporate agenda, but why the growing interest in greener topics? Environmental and social issues – in other words sustainability issues – interest shareholders because they are strategic risk-management issues. Leading companies are taking their cue accordingly, renewing their focus on the need for resource efficiency and scenario planning. This response spans large industrial sectors including oil and gas, agriculture, food and beverage, manufacturing and utilities.
Via Olive Ventures