Clean air is essential for life.
The Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment began in 1978 to engage with companies around their involvement in South Africa apartheid, Shell Oil, Coca Cola, and Kuggerands. We are a coalition of women and men Catholic religious orders, investment advisors, and individuals; we work closely with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility in New York City.
Through the years, some of our projects have included Nestle and bogus infant formula, board diversity, military suppliers, credit card practices, nuclear power plant at Callaway. Our present focus is mainly on water sustainability with various local and national companies. As shareholders, we have the responsibility to make sure our companies act with good ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) policies and procedures. As shareholders, we have more clout with a company.
Our mode of operation is first to engage the company in dialogue and give them positive suggestions and secondly to file shareholder resolutions. Shareholder resolutions must be printed in the company annual report (10K) for all shareholders and public to see. As shareholders vote in the early spring and annual meetings are usually held in late spring, we work during the winter to get our word out to investment advisors so that we’ll have a positive vote. When we file a resolution with a company, we are also given 3–5 minutes (SEC rule) to speak to the shareholders, board, and executives about our rationale; normally the shareholders have already voted, but we always have someone who comes up to us after the meeting to give words of encouragement and said they voted with us.