ESG Archive

Feb 05, 2020
Shaping Trillium’s plans for 2020
Trillium filed nine board or executive diversity proposals in 2019, up from four last year. What’s behind that focus? These shareholder proposals on executive team diversity were the first of their kind to be filed. This first effort was a proof of concept to see what the results and outcomes would be, and we thought it was very positive both in terms of companies making commitments to improve diversity and, when we did need to go to a vote, getti...
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Feb 04, 2020
How AT&T tailors ESG reporting to its audience
AT&T has been reporting on its ESG performance for the last 12 years. And just as the focus on ESG among investors and companies has grown and evolved, so too has AT&T’s approach to reporting on the issues involved – notably by creating a modular disclosure structure that enables different stakeholders to take information at the level of detail they need. At the top of the reporting triangle is the company’s corporate responsibility summary, which give...
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Jan 31, 2020
Chesapeake Utilities’ governance team offers an expert helping hand
The governance team at Chesapeake is a small and tight-knit group that, despite its lack of numbers, lends a helping and expert hand to a wide array of projects. Stacie Roberts was promoted in May 2019 to assistant vice president of corporate governance and continues to report directly to the company’s executive vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief policy and risk officer. In terms of full-time staff, her team comprises governance managers Heidi...
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Jan 30, 2020
How Coeur Mining won best proxy statement (small cap)
As a small-cap company, Coeur Mining doesn’t have the same resources that many past winners and nominees of the best proxy statement award have had. But this year, for the first time, the Corporate Governance Awards recognize the best proxy statement among small caps, rather than grouping their entries with mid-cap ones. While the legal team at Coeur Mining may have a small budget and fewer resources than some companies, it has looked at the trends adopted by the ...
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Jan 28, 2020
Behind NorthWestern Energy's DIY proxy statement
As proxy statements continue to evolve into glossier, more visually engaging publications, the number of people involved can increase – as can budgets. But for NorthWestern Energy that isn’t an option. The two-person corporate secretary team is responsible for drafting the language, gathering the data and drawing the charts, says Tim Olson, senior corporate counsel and corporate secretary at the company. Olson says he and his colleague Emily Larkin, assistant co...
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Jan 28, 2020
How award winner Mehlman handles governance at Regions Financial
Regions Financial Corporation in Birmingham, Alabama, has in recent times adopted best practices across a range of governance areas. In doing so, it owes much to Hope Mehlman, executive vice president, chief governance officer, assistant general counsel and assistant corporate secretary, and her team. ‘This is not just a job – it’s a passion for us,’ Mehlman says. Just one example is a ramped-up focus on ESG over the past year. Mehlman has led an expansion o...
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Jan 24, 2020
GM scores back-to-back proxy statement awards
GM won the best proxy statement (large cap) category for the second consecutive year at the 2019 awards. Its entry showed clear progression from the previous year’s award-winning proxy statement, and both publications emphasize the growing importance of communicating a cohesive theme through the proxy statement. In 2017 GM faced a proxy contest with Greenlight Capital in which the investor questioned the company’s capital allocation and the makeup of the board. ...
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Jan 22, 2020
Opinion: How companies should interpret Larry Fink’s letter
Rather than getting caught up in a debate over fiduciary duty or whether or not sustainability or ESG performance is material, let’s just cut to the chase on the latest BlackRock letter. It’s still a company’s choice whether to disclose ESG information. If your company is selling a product or a service, you are obviously responding to customer demands and interests. So what about customers buying your stock? If they are increasingly asking for ESG information, how do...
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Jan 15, 2020
BlackRock signals renewed climate focus
BlackRock has this week made major announcements highlighting renewed efforts to integrate climate change into its investment process – putting greater pressure on boards to act on the firm’s climate-related concerns raised during engagements.  In his annual letter to CEOs, BlackRock chair and CEO Larry Fink notes that climate change ‘has become a defining factor in com...
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Jan 09, 2020
NYSE targets change in board diversity with elite networking program
When Betty Liu joined the NYSE in July 2018, she hit the road. In her newly created role as executive vice chairman of the exchange and chief experience officer of parent company Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), she wanted to talk to CEOs of NYSE-listed companies about the value-adds the exchange could provide. During these initial meetings, diversity and board composition emerged as common themes. The CEOs she spoke to ‘had had no issues with wanting to make thei...
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