Introduction: Key Shareholder Proposal Trends
The total number of social, environmental and sustainability shareholder resolutions filed reached a new peak in 2017. Overall average vote has been about the same for the last five years, but is above earlier levels (top chart). After a dip in withdrawals in 2015, they rebounded in 2017 to similar recent levels. The number omitted after company challenges at the SEC last year also rose, after dropping in 2016 (left graph, below).
As of mid-February 2018, 330 were headed for votes, although historically about 14 percent will be omitted and another 33 percent will be withdrawn. This is about the same number as were pending at this time last year. (Eleven already have been voted on.)
Since 2010, there have been more proposals about social issues than the environment, but the long-term trend shows growth in sustainable governance. This year marks a drop in social resolutions, and a convergence between the environment and governance (right graph, above.)