Heading into Corporate Annual Meeting Season, Trillium Announces Four Shareholder Proposals Withdrawn
Trillium Asset Management Corporation (“Trillium”) is pleased to announce the withdrawal of four shareholder 2010 resolutions as we head into the annual meeting season. Resolutions filed with Plum Creek Timber, Lincoln Electric, State Street Bank and Whole Foods Market have resulted in changes to corporate policies that will have a positive impact on transparency, corporate governance and workplace diversity.
Plum Creek Timber Company (PCL): Say on Pay
Our “say on pay” proposal called upon management to submit an advisory resolution on executive compensation for shareholder approval at annual meetings. After evaluating the resolution, for which Trillium was the lead filer, Plum Creek Timber’s Board of Directors deemed it to be “consistent with evolving best practices” and agreed to begin putting the compensation to a vote beginning in 2011.
Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (LECO): Inclusive LGBT Workplace Policies
Trillium was a co-filer with Calvert Group Ltd. on a proposal to add the categories “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” in the Equal Employment Opportunity and Anti-Harassment policies of Lincoln Electric.
State Street Bank (STT): Political Contributions
Trillium’s resolution requested a semi-annual report detailing the policies and procedures related to political contributions and the monetary and non-monetary contributions and expenditures. After some initial dialogue, State Street has acknowledged that political contributions are “an issue of increasing interest to corporate shareholders particularly in light of efforts at financial reform,” and has agreed to further dialogue with Trillium and the Center for Political Accountability to explore expanded disclosure options.
Whole Foods Market: Separate Chair and CEO Positions
Trillium co-filed a resolution sponsored by Change to Win Investment Group calling on Whole Foods Market to separate the positions of Chairman of the Board and CEO. Since the resolution was filed, CEO John Mackey stepped down as Chairman of the Board.
Some of Trillium’s other engagement initiatives this season include resolutions that will be going to a vote at Ford Motor Company (political contributions transparency), Home Depot (disclosure of workforce diversity data), Chipotle (reduction of pesticide use in supply chain), Google (sustainability reporting), J.M. Smucker (sustainability reporting), CenturyLink (freedom of expression and privacy), Coca-cola (bisphenol-A co-file) and Gardner Denver (workplace policies regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees). More information about these resolutions can be found at our web site.*
A resolution sponsored at Bank of America (BAC) concerning the company’s financing of coal companies engaged in mountaintop removal was deemed excludable from the proxy ballot by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In discussions with the Bank, however, we learned that itsrelatively new coal policy, has led it to decline deals with companies whose predominant method of extraction involves mountaintop removal.
For the second year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has concluded that net neutrality is not an important enough issue to allow AT&T and Verizon shareholders to consider our shareholder proposals concerning net neutrality. Given that President Obama and over one hundred members of Congress, as well as hundreds of civil rights organizations, have all spoken up on the importance of a free and open Internet, we consider this conclusion deeply flawed. We will continue to press the SEC to reverse its censorship of this critically important shareholder issue.
For more information, please contact:
Shelley Alpern at salpern[at]trilliuminvest.com
(617) 292-8026, x 248
Jonas Kron at jkron[at]trilliuminvest.com