Shareholder Activists Drag Companies into U.S. Culture Wars
Businesses face proposals on abortion, guns and climate change in new ways
A backlash against companies taking on issues ranging from climate change to abortion rights is helping to push shareholder proposals to record numbers this year.
More advocacy groups are using these resolutions to try to inject their voices into the corporate agenda, questioning companies’ adoption of policies that some view as being overly political. One group, for example, put forward a resolution requesting that Eli Lilly report on the risks of supporting abortion. Last year, the drug-maker expressed its opposition to Indiana’s near-comprehensive abortion ban.
Such proposals questioning companies’ stances on social and environmental issues have come in record numbers, surging to 74 for annual meetings held before May 31, up from 43 last year, according to data from ISS Corporate Solutions, a unit of proxy-advisory firm ISS.
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