Shareholder resolutions filed at electric utility companies AES, DTE Energy, Duke Energy and Southern Company received a very high number of shareholder votes at the companies’ spring meetings. As part of an ongoing dialogue with the companies, Praxis co-filed the resolutions, which received 40 percent, 45 percent, 46 percent and 46 percent of the vote respectively.
Considering that the filing shareholders collectively own less than 1 percent of these companies, these numbers show the breadth of support and are something to celebrate.
The proposals call for each company to assess the long-term portfolio impacts of public policies and technological advances aiming to limit global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. Praxis Mutual Funds®, which owns part of the companies through the Praxis Value Index Fund, and other shareholder partners want to see these utilities produce regulatory and business scenario analyses that incorporate the trend toward low-carbon energy sources, and explore how they can adapt their business plans to take it into account.
While shareholder proposals are generally advisory – not binding – those that receive high vote totals often lead to corporate policy changes or productive dialogues between the companies and the shareholders who filed the resolution. Several of the companies have already reached out to Praxis and others who filed the resolutions for further conversations, noting the high level of support from all investors.