Posted by: Chris Maloney | April 13, 2011

As we deal with another Chernobyl, Climate resolutions decline?

Minefield warning on the Golan Heights, still ...

Image via Wikipedia

For those of you unaware of social investing, there is a crazy group of people who actually want their money to not be supporting the production of land mines and propping up dictatorships.  It’s called social investing, and an offshoot of the social investment idea is the addition of climate resolutions.  They rarely pass, but just bringing them up to the boards of different corporations and mutual funds means that they are aware that a group of their investors does not want them to immorally destroy the environment in the pursuit of a higher shareholder return. 

The argument has been that long term profits depend on short term decisions.  But the boards aren’t biting.  So now we’ve had a decline in the resolutions submitted.  Not passed, just submitted.  It’s as if we’ve taken our collective shoulders and given a shrug. 

Unfortunately it’s the small proxy voter who holds most of the cards in theses corporations.  But someone holding a few shares of a mutual fund isn’t really in a position to understand the stakes or to feel empowered about changing them.  If that person is a short term investor, they may want maximum return regardless of the overall cost.  Day traders certainly aren’t going to care about the policies involved, they want maximum return. 

So how do we instill in people the idea that where your money is, that’s where you’re voting?  BP had a vote recently, congratulating themselves on a job well done.  Looks like bonuses all round.  That’s the reality of the disconnect we deal with in modern market driven society. 

For those of you who want to have a consistent impact in the world (I’m reminded of the environmental activist who’s trust fund was all in Exxon) have a look at social investing

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