Shareholder resolutions bring critical issues to companies’ attention

April 14, 2021

proxy voting ballot with pen_iStock-475571008 

Mercy Investment Services files resolutions as one tool to bring specific issues of the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy into the view of company management. All shareholders have the opportunity to vote on resolutions presented by both the company and shareholders on a proxy ballot; topics typically include corporate governance issues, such as electing the board of directors, as well as other company-initiated items regarding executive compensation, auditors, etc. Mercy Investment Services and many other organizations file resolutions focused on environment, social, and sustainability issues.

An unprecedented 2020 brought a number of new proposals and new approaches to past proposals, covering areas such as racial justice, equal opportunity and diversity, worker safety in the time of COVID, climate transition planning, and climate lobbying. As You Sow recently released its 2021 Proxy Preview, which analyzes the issues shareholders are addressing through resolutions. The following chart shows the issues for 100 resolutions on which shareholders will vote during this proxy season. The full report is available online.  


Proxy Preview 2021


Source: 2021 Proxy Preview

Mercy Investment Services filed 34 resolutions, of which 13 were withdrawn and two have been voted so far this proxy year. About 40% of resolutions go to vote each year, with the rest withdrawn or omitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mercy Investment Services will continue to file resolutions and vote proxies as a key component of our socially responsible investment program.