Investors push for stronger actions from companies to reduce GHG emissions

It is evident that human activity is a leading cause of climate change. For that reason, major institutional investors are pushing for stronger actions from companies in climate-related shareholder resolutions in the 2014 proxy season.


35 institutional investors have filed 142 resolutions in a coordinated effort to spur action by 118 companies – including Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Kinder Morgan, Lowes and several electric utilities – on a wide range of climate-related issues such as greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy efficiency and sustainable palm oil. The investors request specific actions from companies such as adopting and achieving company-wide goals for reducing GHG emissions from operations.


Recent analysis shows that many U.S. businesses, including numerous Standard & Poor’s 500 index firms, have reported a higher rate of return on investments in carbon-reduction technologies than on overall corporate capital investments


The impact of these resolutions is already becoming clear on other issues as well.  Last month, in response to a shareholder proposal filed by Green Century Capital Management, Kellogg Co. announced an industry-leading commitment to purchase only deforestation-free palm oil. Palm oil, is a key driver of deforestation that accounts for more than 15 percent of worldwide carbon emissions.

Kellogg’s commitment is just the latest example of shareholder impact.  In 2013, Ceres worked with INCR member Mercy Investments to file a resolution with Continental Resources, the largest company operating in North Dakota’s Bakken region, to save energy and curb carbon pollution by reducing flaring.

For more information and to view these shareholder resolutions, visit