Praxis joins Alphabet investor engagement

Shareholder advocacy |

Coalition seeks dialogue on human rights issues

Praxis has joined a broad group of investors to engage Alphabet on several human rights issues. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is one of the largest companies in the world.

The investors sent a letter requesting a meeting with the company to discuss how the Alphabet Board of Directors oversees management of real and potential societal impacts and implementation of human rights standards across the company’s product development, operations, and value chain. Given Alphabet’s size and the broad systemic influence its products and services have on society and individuals alike, the company’s internal decisions can have far-reaching consequences.

In particular, the investor coalition seeks to understand how Alphabet implements the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, including how the company identifies its salient human rights issues, and the board’s approach to overseeing and managing risks related to data privacy, freedom of expression, and artificial intelligence.

One area the investors want more information about is extremist content, including:

  • Publicly available information on how Alphabet has provided greater transparency in setting community standards or terms of service regarding how to tackle extremist content.
  • The timeline for regular and transparent public reporting, in a way that is measurable and supported by clear methodology, on the quantity and nature of terrorist and violent extremist content being detected and removed.
  • Disclosure on collaborative efforts with stakeholders to fight online extremism.

Praxis and the other investors hope to have productive conversation with Alphabet in 2020.

Chris Meyer

Author

Chris Meyer
Manager of Stewardship Investing Advocacy and Research

Shareholder Advocacy

At Praxis, our investments generate a competitive financial return and deliver a clear and direct benefit to people and our planet. We believe it is our responsibility to encourage companies toward responsible business behavior.

 

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Disclosure

As of Dec. 31, 2019, the Praxis Value Index Fund has invested 0.16% of its assets in Alphabet; and the Praxis Growth Index fund has invested 5.65% of its assets in Alphabet. Fund holdings are subject to change. To obtain holdings as of the most previous quarter, visit praxismutualfunds.com.