The Rise of Anti-ESG Shareholder Proposals
These proposals, though few, are increasing and contribute noise to analyses of ESG voting.
The shareholder proposals and underlying issues we’ve covered have mostly highlighted the advocacy efforts of sustainability-minded investors. The proposals they file at companies have been made in an earnest effort to secure long-term value for investors and other stakeholders, whether one shares the views of the proxies’ authors or not. Recently, though, we’ve seen an increase in what we’ve been calling ‘anti-ESG’ proposals. These are disingenuously submitted proposals, usually by groups that oppose the work of ‘pro-ESG’ investors.
Issues include ideological diversity of the boards, lobbying, charitable donations, and, more recently, issues around racial justice.