United Kingdom: ESG battles to watch during this year’s AGM season

PepsiCo, Amazon and Citigroup have been named alongside a small group of global companies to watch during this year’s annual meeting season, as investors demand businesses step up on issues from climate change to employing diverse workforces.

ShareAction, the responsible-investment charity, said the “13 most important ESG resolutions” of 2021 included a proposal calling on General Motors to disclose its lobbying around climate change, a resolution calling on the board of Walt Disney to strengthen oversight of workforce equality issues including racial and gender pay equity, and a vote on biodiversity at Amazon.

The list comes at a time of intense scrutiny over how asset managers vote at annual meetings, with widespread concern that big investors often proclaim their ESG credentials but fail to back resolutions on issues such as climate change. “Shareholder voting works. Resolutions can deliver everything from decarbonisation targets to healthy eating strategies,” said Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion in the UK. Despite many big investors warning that issues such as climate change pose huge financial risks, few ESG proposals pass each year.

The original full article can be found at ft.com

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