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Hot Topics in Corporate Social Responsibility

Growing Traction for Environmental & Social Shareholder Proposals at US Companies

September 19, 2014

From the IRRC Institute

A new analysis indicates that environmental and social (E+S) shareholder proposals are gaining increased voting support from investors at U.S. public companies. From 2005-2011, average support for these proposals more than doubled, from about 10% to more than 20%. At the same time, the proportion of shareholder-sponsored resolutions on E+S matters grew by a third, from about 30% to 40%, for all proposals going to a vote. Also, the proportion of higher scoring proposals increased as indicated in the chart below.

Women on Boards Survey Finds Legislation Major Driver of Change

September 19, 2014

From GMI Ratings

Based on data for almost 6,000 companies in 45 countries, and including historical data, the survey provides a broad and detailed assessment of global progress on gender diversity among corporate directors. The survey finds extremely slow progress in most of the world outside Europe, which has led on this issue through the adoption of legal mandates for the representation of women on corporate board. The findings will be of particular interest to investors and others seeking to increase board diversity through non-legislative means in North America and elsewhere.

14-Point Roadmap For Improving Diverse Representation In The Boardroom

September 17, 2014

From the WomenCorporateDirectors Global Nominating Commission

Answering calls for specific steps to boost women’s representation on boards worldwide, WomenCorporateDirectors and its Global Nominating Commission unveiled a roadmap for decision-makers: “Improving Diverse Representation in the Boardroom.” The 14-point roadmap was introduced as part of WCD’s third annual Global Institute.

The WCD Global Nominating Commission – designed to help build the “supply chain” of women director talent – has rolled out a series of initiatives since its launch one year ago at last year’s Global Institute. The Commission’s activities include board education seminars as well as the publication of the Commission’s guide to “Best Practices for Director Development and Recruitment.”

Proxy Season Prognosis

September 10, 2014

By Laura J. Finn

As boards move into the new year, the events and trends from 2012 annual meetings become the prologue for companies and boards preparing for the 2013 proxy season. During 2012, for instance, say-on-pay proposals garnered the lion’s share of attention (and contention) from shareholders and other investor advocates, but a string of other investor targets—political contributions, proxy access, board declassification, and others—shared the spotlight as well. The following is a roundup of issues directors should keep their eye on to prepare for the months ahead.