The Shareholder Action Guide: Unleash Your Hidden Powers To Hold Corporations Accountable by Andrew BeharThe Shareholder Action Guide: Unleash Your Hidden Powers To Hold Corporations Accountable by Andrew Behar

The Shareholder Action Guide: Unleash Your Hidden Powers To Hold Corporations Accountable

byAndrew Behar

Paperback | November 14, 2016

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“A valuable call to action for small shareholders to change the ways big corporations do business.”
Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor

Want to make misbehaving corporations mend their ways? You can! If you own their stock, corporations have to listen to you. Shareholder advocate Andrew Behar explains how to exercise your proxy voting rights to weigh in on corporate policies—you only need a single share of stock to do it. If you’ve got just $2,000 in stock, Behar shows how you can go further and file a resolution to directly address the board of directors. And even if your investments are in a workplace-sponsored 401(k) or a mutual fund, you can work with your fund manager to purge corporations from your portfolio that don’t align with your values. Illustrated with inspiring stories of individuals who have gone up against corporate Goliaths and won, this book informs, inspires, and instructs investors how to unleash their power to change the world.
Andrew Behar is CEO of As You Sow, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy. Founded in 1992, As You Sow envisions a safe, just, and sustainable world in which environmental health and human rights are central to corporate decision making.
Title:The Shareholder Action Guide: Unleash Your Hidden Powers To Hold Corporations AccountableFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:November 14, 2016Publisher:Berrett-koehlerLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1626568456

ISBN - 13:9781626568457


Table of Contents

FOREWORD by Thomas Van Dyck
Introduction You Have More Power Than You Think
Chapter 1 Who Let the Dog Out
Chapter 2 How Ordinary Investors Can Bring Real Change to Big Problems
Chapter 3 What You Can Ask a Corporation to Do
Chapter 4 How to Vote Your Proxy
Chapter 5 How to Influence Your Fund Manager
Chapter 6 Engaging with a Corporation and Filing a Shareholder Resolution
Chapter 7 Opportunities and Decisions to Make Real Change
Chapter 8 What Kind of People Engage with Corporations
Chapter 9 Foundations and Individual Shareholders Can Make a Difference
Chapter 10 The Power of Disclosure
Chapter 11 Divestment as the Ultimate Escalation of Engagement
Chapter 12 How Do I Know What I Own?
Chapter 13 How to Get Your Company to Offer Funds Aligned with Your Values
Chapter 14 A New Generation of Corporate Leaders
Chapter 15 Time to Take Back Your Power
Resource A Acknowledgments and Biographies of Interviewed Leaders
Resource B Links
Resource C Alliance Building for a Shareholder Movement
Resource D Glossary and Acronyms
About As You Sow
About the Author

Editorial Reviews

“This book is timely in serving a growing need and comprehensive in meeting its goal of revealing the concealed power shareholders—even ordinary ones—possess in influencing the companies they own.”  —Bevis Longstreth, former Commissioner, Securities and Exchange Commission “Engage, divest, invest! We need to align our capital with the world in which we want to live and flourish. The Shareholder Action Guide provides an excellent road map to get us there.” —Kat Taylor, Co-CEO, Beneficial State Bank “Knowledge is power . . . and this comprehensive guide to shareholder activism will supercharge the work of holding corporations accountable and making positive change in the world. A must for every activist’s toolbox.” —Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club “The Shareholder Action Guide empowers every investor to work with corporations to be part of the solution. This is a must-read to help mobilize a shareholder movement that will have a major impact on climate change and other critical issues of our time.” —Timothy E. Wirth, former US Senator (Colorado) and Vice Chair, United Nations Foundation “With practical information and compelling accounts of how shareholders are pushing corporations to improve their conduct, The Shareholder Action Guide is a must-read for investors mystified by the proxy process yet eager to align their assets with their values.” —Fran Teplitz, Executive Codirector, Green America “The Shareholder Action Guide is an incredibly important and timely reminder of what each of us can do to challenge corporate and CEO misconduct. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to influence how companies treat their employees and our planet.” —Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, President & Director, The Roddenberry Foundation “Both a historical primer on the movement’s founders and a practical how-to manual, The Shareholder Action Guide demystifies the process of shareholder advocacy for concerned investors looking to catalyze enduring social and environmental change through the management of their investments.” —Joshua Zinner, CEO, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility “This inspiring work empowers shareholders, both large and small, to hold corporations accountable. These incredible stories of shareholders who have made real change are a powerful call to action.” —Ben Cohen, cofounder, Ben & Jerry’s, and Head Stamper, Stamp Stampede “I have been involved in shareholder advocacy for over forty years. I don’t think I have seen such a thorough presentation in one place of its nuts and bolts. The Shareholder Action Guide is a great history and how-to that empowers every investor and comes at a critical time.” —Rev. Michael H. Crosby, member, Midwest Capuchin Franciscans, and Executive Director, Seventh Generation Interfaith Coalition for Responsible Investment “Andrew Behar does a masterful job reminding anyone who has investments of our power to influence corporations, which are among the most politically powerful entities on earth today. Citing actual examples of how investors holding a relatively modest amount of stock can push companies to be more sustainable, The Shareholder Action Guide provides a wonderful combination of hope for the future and practical advice, in accessible, jargon-free language, on how shareholders can wield their influence. For all who thirst for social and environmental justice, this is an important book to read.” —Kimberly Gluck, Managing Director, Walden Asset Management, and member, Women Donors Network “The Shareholder Action Guide restores the connection between us and our money with practical, achievable steps to push for more accountability and inspiring stories of shareholders who have already made a difference.” —Nell Minow, Vice Chair, ValueEdge Advisors “Since Citizens United gave corporations the rights of citizens, I’ve wanted to hold them accountable for their bad business practices. The Shareholder Action Guide gives everyone a road map on how to do just that.” —Carlynn Rudd, Principal, Caribou Strategies, and Board Member, As You Sow “As You Sow and Andrew Behar have helped lead the charge for shareholder action in the United States on environmental and societal issues, often ahead of the curve. Here is a unique opportunity to learn from those that actually do.” —Cary Krosinsky, Lecturer, Yale College and Brown University “We theoretically live in shareholder capitalism. It’s shocking, then, how much energy corporate management expends making sure that shareholders’ voices are muffled—and how creative, energetic advocacy can remove the gag. Find out how!” —Carl Pope, Principal, Inside Straight Strategies, and Board Member, As You Sow “Inspiring stories of successful shareholder advocacy, side-by-side with practical steps for those who want to effect real change through the power of their investments.” —Jennifer McDowell, member, Women Donors Network “It is exceedingly important to capture history and accounts of how shareholder advocacy has impacted the policies and practices of thousands of companies over the last forty-five years. Behar’s book provides an important look at this inspiring history and the differences it helped catalyze.” —Tim Smith, Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement, Walden Asset Management “This book is a must-read for every individual and organization committed to aligning their investments with their mission. Shareholder advocacy is a powerful demonstration of a shared-leadership, shared responsibility model benefiting everyone from investor to community to the environment. Inspiring!” —Lisa Worth Huber, PhD, Chair, Board of Directors, National Peace Academy “This book shows how everyday investors can become energized and effective advocates on a range of critical issues facing our planet. Learn directly from pros who share pioneering advocacy wins, part of an important history of change from the community of responsible investors over the last thirty years.” —Matt Patsky, CEO, Trillium Asset Management “This may be the most important book you will ever read if we are going to make the ‘Great Transition’ from fossil to renewable energy. Behar has given us the framework, architecture, and blueprint on how we get from here to there.” —Chip Comins, Chairman and CEO, American Renewable Energy Institute “The Shareholder Action Guide holds the key to empower investors to drive business innovation globally and make the great transition off of fossil fuels to a renewable energy economy. The choice is in our hands as engaged shareholders.” —Diana Dehm, Host, Sustainability News & Entertainment Radio “As shareowners of public companies, we have the right, the responsibility, and the power to help guide companies to be positively impactful. The Shareholder Action Guide clearly shows how to be an impact investor in the public markets.” —Steven J. Schueth, President, First Affirmative Financial Network, and Host/Producer, The SRI Conference “Shareholder advocacy is changing the defi nition of ‘business as usual.’ Mixing personal stories, strategy, and practical how-tos, The Shareholder Action Guide shows how any shareowner can help build a better world.” —Michael Passoff, CEO, Proxy Impact “For all investors—small and large—who want to make a difference, The Shareholder Action Guide offers clear, practical advice. Through shareholder action, investors can urge corporations to change course.” —Kathy Hipple, Corporate Finance Professor, Bard College “Could the power of ownership change the world? In this excellent primer, Andrew Behar explains how shareholders can hold corporations accountable for their actions and improve both performance and profitability. This is a timely and thoughtful guide to competent and effective activism toward a more durable, resilient, and just society. Behar has written a practical game plan for a world better than that in prospect. The point is that we are not helpless to effect positive change. And that is a powerful message and a clarion call to act.” —David W. Orr, Senior Advisor to the President, Oberlin College “Through bestowing charitable status, US tax laws enable foundations to leverage social change. Foundations are therefore duty bound to society to use every available tool. This guide provides insights and means essential to foundations to fulfill their social contract.” —John Powers, President, Prentice Foundation “Shareholder resolutions are an emphatic ‘do something’ message to corporate leaders from a constituency they can’t ignore—the investors who own the company. This excellent guide tells you how to do that.” —Jon M. Jensen, Executive Director, Park Foundation “The only economy that will allow us to survive the 21st century is one based on ethics, human rights, and sustainability. It will be an economy where people have more rights than corporations and where companies will be accountable to a broader set of stakeholders rather than only shareholders. The Shareholder Action Guide is a critical arrow in the quiver to bring this new economy to reality.” —Gary Cohen, President and cofounder, Health Care Without Harm