Corporate Governance Leads Proxy Proposal Topics

February 3, 2004 ( - Investors have filed 185 shareholder resolutions with 131 US and Canadian companies dealing with issues ranging from corporate governance and global warming to drug pricing, according to the Proxy Resolutions Book for 2004.

Published by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), the annual guide covers socially responsible shareholder initiatives from religious and other concerned investors, according to a news release.

Religious organizations filed 129 of the resolutions, accounting for 93 of the 131 targeted companies, according to ICCR.   Among the issues of greatest concern to religious and other ethical investors this year, in order, are:   corporate governance matters (29, including 13 pay disparity and executive compensation resolutions, eight annual election of board resolutions and eight board diversity resolutions), global warming (21 resolutions) and HIV/AIDS (13).

“The resolutions collected by the latest edition of ICCR’s ‘Proxy Resolutions Book’ show the depth and breadth of the hard work that goes into our communication with companies,” said ICCR Executive Director Sister Pat Wolf. “It’s important to note that resolutions are just one part of this interaction – our members are also leading dialogues with companies in order to assist them in implementing socially and environmentally responsible policies and initiatives.”

The breakdown of important issue areas is as follows:

  • Global warming   (21 resolutions – including five in the electric power industry, two in the insurance industry, eight in the energy industry, two in the automotive industry, one in the manufacturing industry)
  • Global Reporting Initiative (19 resolutions)
  • Tobacco (14 resolutions)
  • HIV/AIDS (13 resolutions)
  • Pay disparity/executive compensation (13 resolutions)
  • Genetically modified organisms (10 resolutions)
  • Annual election of the board of directors (eight resolutions)
  • Diversity on the board of directors (eight resolutions)
  • Vendor standards (six resolutions)
  • Sexual orientation discrimination (six resolutions)
  • Political contributions made by pharmaceutical companies (four resolutions)
  • Equal employment opportunity issues (four resolutions)
  • Community Reinvestment Act (three resolutions)
  • Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (two resolutions)
  • Indigenous rights (two resolutions)
  • Global standards (two resolutions )
  • Predatory loans (two resolutions)
  • The coffee crisis (two resolutions)
  • Foreign military sales (two resolutions)
  • Drug pricing restraints (one resolution)
  • Weaponization of space (one resolution )
  • Derivatives (one resolution)
  • Glass ceiling (one resolution)
  • Ethical criteria for patent extension (one resolution)

ICCR is an association of 275 faith-based and socially responsible institutional investors, including national denominations, religious communities, city and state pension funds, endowments, hospital corporations, economic development funds, colleges and unions.

ICCR’s “Proxy Resolutions Book” for 2004 is available for purchase for $45 on the ICCR Web site at .