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This Week in Proxy Voting: Protecting the Environment and Human Rights
6 / 17 / 2019
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Proxy season is in full swing. This week we’re featuring votes on climate change, recyclables, executive pay and more.

Climate Change & the Environment

Shareholders want DowDuPont, a chemical company, to report on how its plants and factories put public health at risk, especially given rising threats from climate change. They cite instances of Houston residents reporting skin and respiratory problems after Hurricane Harvey forced a nearby DowDuPont plant to shut down after emitting unsafe levels of chemicals.

DowDuPont shareholders also want to know how much the company is contributing to plastics pollution. While the company shares some information on spills, shareholders want to know how much and in what form plastics are entering the environment.

Shareholders at Kroger are also concerned about plastics damaging the global environment. A huge portion of Kroger’s sales come from products packaged in “unrecyclable plastic pouches”, despite the existence of recyclable alternatives. Shareholders want a report on the environmental impacts of continuing to use non-recyclable packaging.

Human Rights at Mastercard

Shareholders want Mastercard to establish a human rights committee that will be responsible for overseeing the company’s policies, procedures and projects, making sure that they don’t infringe on global human rights.

They also want a report on gender pay equity, with specific attention to Mastercard’s global median gender pay gap, and any policies and risks associated with recruiting and retaining women employees.


Shareholders of used-car retailer Carmax want the company to be transparent about where their political contributions go, and how they reach decisions on those contributions. There are plenty of ways for corporations to influence the civic sphere in America: in addition to lobbying, companies can contribute to political campaigns, either directly or through secretive “dark money” super PACs or non-profit contributions.


Finally, DowDuPont shareholders want a report on how executive pay relates to employee pay and are asking important questions: How do the highest executive pay packages compare to the lowest employee salaries? Is there a possibility of excessive executive compensation? If an executive’s employees are laid off, should their pay be adjusted?

Votes for DowDuPont, Mastercard and Carmax are due by Monday, 6/24. Votes for Kroger are due by Wednesday, 6/26.

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