Conference Board Releases Report Reviewing Key Environmental and Social Proposals for 2017 Proxy Season

On October 26, 2017, the business membership organization Conference Board released a report reviewing the key environmental and social (E&S) proposals between January 1 and June 30, 2017. Nearly half of the 465 proposals brought to shareholders at Russell 3000 companies related to E&S issues, and they received average support of only 21.4%, although support levels continue to increase, principally due to a shift in the voting policies of passive investors like BlackRock and Vanguard. Six proposals received majority support in 2017 – three on climate risk disclosure (18 proposals were made), two on board diversity (14 proposals were made) and one on publishing a sustainability report (10 proposals were made). The most common E&G proposal remains disclosure of corporate political/lobbying contributions and policy (57 proposals were made).