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2013

December 25, 2013

ZAM files resolution at Wal-Mart on lobbying dislosure

Zevin has filed a shareholder proposal at Wal-Mart, asking the company to reveal more details about its lobbying activities. To read the resolution, please click here.

Category: Shareholder Activism

December 18, 2013

ZAM co-files shareholder resolution at JP Morgan over lobbying

Zevin co-filed a proposal for the shareholders meeting asking for disclosure about JP Morgan's lobbying policies and practices, including  both direct and indirect lobbying, for example through trade associations.

Category: Shareholder Activism

December 16, 2013

ZAM co-files proposal with Walden at Denbury Resources

The resolution requests that Denbury's Board adopt quantitative goals for reducing total greenhouse gas emissions from the company's operations; and that the company report to shareholders on its plans to achieve these goals.

Category: Shareholder Activism

December 14, 2013

ZAM co-files 3 shareholder proposals at Chevron and three at Exxon.

We asked Exxon to adopt quantitative goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their products and operations, to report on the environmental cost and community impact cost from their fracking operations, and to report on the climate change assumptions that Exxon is using for its strategic planning. At Chevron, we asked the company to separate the position of Chairman and CEO to improve its corporate governance, to review its public policy advocacy on energy policy and climate change, as well as demanding dislcosure about Chevron's lobbying policies and practices, including  both direct and indirect lobbying such as through trade associations.

Category: Shareholder Activism

November 26, 2013

Raising the bar on climate chage shareholder activism, ZAM co-files 5 more resolutions at fossil fuel companies

ZAM co-filed greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets at both ConocoPhillips and Phillips66, lobbying disclosure and public policy review resolutions at ConocoPhillips and a resolution at Kinder Morgan Inc challenging the company on its investments in coal transportation infrastructure.

Category: Shareholder Activism

November 26, 2013

Obamacare - Investment update

America spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world, despite our uniquely non-socialized system, yet our health outcomes are at or below the bottom of the range for developed countries.  Total healthcare spending in the US amounts to $8,500 per person, more than double the $3,900 median value for healthcare spending in 21 other advanced economies. And what does all this extra spending provide US residents? Fewer doctors (2.5 per 1,000 people vs. 3.5 elsewhere) and lower life expectancy (78.7 years vs. 81.2).  Why? To read more, click here.

Category: Investment Updates

November 26, 2013

ZAM co-files proposal at PepsiCo over land rights

ZAM partners with Oxfam to urge PepsiCo to account for land rights violations in its supply chain. Oxfam has already engaged with CocaCola on this issue and recently the company committed to taking steps to stop land grabs from happening in their supply chain (especially in sugar) and committed its bottlers to do the same. Coca-Cola committed to social and environmental assessments across its supply chains beginning with Colombia, Guatemala and Brazil, then moving on to India, South Africa and other countries, and said that it will publicly reveal its biggest sugarcane suppliers. Now its PepsiCo's turn to commit.

Category: Shareholder Activism

November 19, 2013

ZAM files resolution at UPS over involvement in ALEC

ZAM files a shareholder proposal at UPS over concerns about UPS' ties with ALEC. UPS' board membership at ALEC is especially troublesome given the disconnect between the company’s commitment to sustainability and responsiveness to climate change issues and its support of a partisan, anti-environmental organization. UPS also does not speak out on ALEC positions that violate UPS' policies and values.

Category: Shareholder Activism

November 18, 2013

Ben Lovell speaks at Boston Security Analysts Society (BSAS) event

ZAM President, Ben Lovell, speaks at the Boston Security Analysts Society (BSAS) conference called Sustainable Investing: Moving From the Margin to the Mainstream. Ben discusses Zevin's socially responsible investments as part of a panel of investment managers who focused on the implementation of sustainable investment strategies.

Category: Presentations

November 14, 2013

ZAM co-files resolutions at Verizon, AT&T, and IBM on lobbying disclosure

ZAM co-files shareholder resolutions at Verizon, AT&T, and IBM over their substandard lobbying disclosure. We are concerned about lobbying initiatives by both companies that influence legislation and regulation. We believe it is in the best interests of shareholders for companies to be transparent with respect to lobbying expenditures, policy positions and oversight mechanisms. This includes both direct and indirect lobbying, including through trade associations, as well as grassroots lobbying communications.

Category: Shareholder Activism

October 10, 2013

Extortion - Investment Update

Like any good tantrum, the Tea Party’s recent hysterics are full of passion and logical incoherence. They claim concern over the deficit although the deficit is not a problem today. However it could become a problem, largely due to rising healthcare costs. At the same time, they are also apoplectic about the landmark healthcare law now being implemented, designed specifically to tame the same rising healthcare costs. Yet, while their contradictory and changing positions make it unclear what they want, it is clear how they plan on achieving it: extortion. To read more, click here.

Category: Investment Updates

September 16, 2013

Shareholder proposal filed at mutual fund company, Franklin Templeton

ZAM files a shareholder proposal at mutual fund company, Franklin Templeton asking for a review of their proxy voting policies and practices. According to a recent Ceres report, Franklin Templeton voted against all shareholder proposals related to climate change, ignoring Franklin Resources’ stated position regarding the impact of key environmental factors on shareholder value. To the best of our knowledge, Franklin Resources uniformly votes against all shareholder resolutions on social, environmental and climate change matters, backing management recommendations even when major proxy advisory services, such as ISS, support such resolutions with a clear, economic rationale.  A thoughtful fiduciary must carefully review the economic rationale for all proxy initiatives. To read the filing letter, click here. A SocialFunds.com article discusses the resolution.

Category: Shareholder Activism

August 1, 2013

Sonia Kowal interviewed about the challenges of investing responsibly in emerging markets

To read the interview, titled "Five questions about SRI", through EmergingMarketsESG.net, please click here.

Category: In the Press

July 28, 2013

ZAM files shareholder resolution at Emerson Electric yet again

ZAM co-filed a shareholder resolution at Emerson Electric Co which asks management to prepare a sustainability report to improve company transparency on environmental, social, and governance matters. The primary filer is Walden Asset Management. ZAM co-filed similar resolutions with the Company the previous three years all of which received well over 30% vote in favor of the proposal.

Category: Shareholder Activism

July 11, 2013

Sunny Outlook For Solar Power

As part of the progressive business community, we have a responsibility to do our part as investors and advocates in support of a world-wide transition to a low carbon economy. Solar energy holds the greatest promise for a renewable energy source with the potential to significantly replace fossil fuels. To read our current thoughts on solar power, click here.

Category: Investment Updates

June 27, 2013

ZAM co-files shareholder resolution at Microsoft over their human rights policies in conflict zones

Microsoft conducts business in numerous countries with human rights challenges yet the Company's human rights policies are limited in scope. This resolution asks Microsoft to develop clear procedures and guidance to ensure its products and services are not used in human rights violations.

Category: Shareholder Activism

May 29, 2013

ZAM's proposal at ExxonMobil challenging them to refrain from making political donations passes key threshold

Sonia Kowal attending ExxonMobil's annual shareholder meeting in Dallas to move ZAM's resolution, calling for the Company to refraign from funding political campaigns. A preliminary vote count by the Company shows that 5.7% of shareholders were in favor of the resolution, easily passing the 3% threshold needed to submit the proposal for a vote again next year. To read Sonia's statement to the attendees of the AGM, click here.

Category: Shareholder Activism

May 16, 2013

Ben Lovell' s letter to the SEC supports mandated corporate political donation disclosure

Ben Lovell, President of Zevin Asset Management, sends a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in support of a petition calling for the SEC to mandate corporate political spending disclosure. "As long corporate “personhood” exists, we need to ensure that political spending decisions are made transparently, ideally with authorization from shareholders, and that managements are held accountable for their actions." Click here to read the full letter.

Category: Shareholder Activism

May 9, 2013

Sonia Kowal speaks about SRI at recent Envestnet and Institutional Investor conferences

At the Envestnet conference in Chicago, Sonia Kowal was invited to speak about the role of Sustainable Investing in an Advisory Practice to an audience of financial advisors from around the country. At the Institutional Investor RIA East Investor Forum in Boston, she hosted a Topic Table on Using Expertise in Impact Investing as a Competitive Advantage.

Category: Presentations

April 28, 2013

Paper published in the Georgetown Public Policy Review: Socially Responsible Investing 3.0

Sonia Kowal co-authored a paper published in the  Spring 2013 edition of the Georgetown Public Policy Review titled "Socially Responsible Investing 3.0: Understanding Finance and environmental, social, and governance issues in Emerging Markets".

Category: In the Press

April 25, 2013

ZAM urges shareholders to vote for its proposal at ExxonMobil.

ZAM posts a "Dear Shareholder" letter on the SEC's website, urging shareholders to vote for our proposal that challenges the company to refrain from political donations.

Category: Shareholder Activism

April 3, 2013

ZAM files shareholder resolution at Darden Restaurants on lobbying disclosure

Concerned about lobbying initiatives by Darden, we filed a proposal for the shareholders meeting demanding disclosure about Darden's lobbying policies and practices, including  both direct and indirect lobbying, for example through trade associations, as well as grassroots lobbying communications. To see the proposal, click here.

Category: Shareholder Activism

March 27, 2013

ZAM hosts discussion on corporate political donations

ZAM hosts a BASIC event for the Boston socially responsible investment community on corporate political donations and shareholder activism with experts, Pam Wilmot, Executive Director of Common Cause Massachusetts, and Shelley Alpern, Director of Social Research and Advocacy at Clean Yield AM.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, Presentations

March 17, 2013

SEC sides with ZAM against Exxon

The SEC agreed with our arguments that Exxon should not be allowed to omit our shareholder proposal on political contributions from its proxy ballot in May. To read the SEC's ruling, click here.

Category: Shareholder Activism

March 12, 2013

ZAM statement on fossil fuels

Recent focus on fossil fuel divestment from 350.org as part of the fight against climate change has led us to summarize our approach to investing in the area. Please read our statement here. Our views have been picked up in this Socialfunds.com article.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

March 8, 2013

Sonia Kowal speaks at the SOCAP: SOUL conference

At the SOCAP: SOUL conference, Sonia Kowal speaks on the panel "Small Steps to Accelerate the Good Economy" about how people's investment decisions can influece large corporations and financial institutions.

Category: Presentations

February 28, 2013

Sequester - Investment Update

As we write this, the sequester has come into effect and will add to the current policy of implementing ill-timed reductions in government spending. The sequester mandates cuts to defense and discretionary spending which will reduce GDP growth this year by about 0.6%. This is terrible economic policy as the recovery following the global financial crisis is still weak, and unemployment in the US is still too high. Of course, the sequester came about as a cynical political calculation aimed at the twin agenda of tax cuts for the privileged and cuts to the safety net of social programs for the vulnerable, not as economic policy that would spur higher employment. To read more, click here.

Category: Investment Updates

February 12, 2013

ZAM responds to SEC challenge by ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil asked the SEC for permission to omit our shareholder resolution calling for an end to their political contributions from its proxy filing to stop it going to a vote at its Annual Meeting. For our response, please click here.

Category: Shareholder Activism

February 4, 2013

ZAM responds to SEC challenge by Chevron

Chevron asked the SEC for permission to omit our shareholder resolution calling for a review of its legal action against shareholders from its proxy filing to stop it going to a vote at its Annual Meeting on the grounds of "ordinary business". For our response, please click here.

Category: Shareholder Activism

January 24, 2013

Filing at Stryker over greenhouse gas emissions withdrawn after progress

After a productive dialogue with Stryker, the filers agree to withdraw their resolution asking the company to adopt and report on qualititive goals for reducing greenhosue gas emissions from its operations. Stryker has agreed to respond to the Carbon Disclosure Project and to adopt and report on a comprehensive greehouse gas reduction plan.

Category: Shareholder Activism

January 21, 2013

ZAM files shareholder resolution at Exxon, asking the company to refrain from making political contributions

By the sheer volume of money involved, dollar democracy by corporations is drowning out individual political voices and undermining the essence of the American political system. ExxonMobil’s huge political donations are symptomatic of this corrosion of democracy, so as shareholders, we have a responsibility to put a stop to this dangerous behavior. Please click here to read the press release and for more information. This issue was taken up by the investment website, Motley Fool, who titled their article "An Outrageous Form of Corporate Waste".

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

January 21, 2013

ZAM 2012 advocacy highlights

At Zevin Asset Management (ZAM) we are committed to social change and are actively involved in many efforts to improve sustainability, respect for civil rights and liberties, and economic justice. We are part of many collaborative, long-term efforts to advance progressive causes. Through our work, we hope to give power to other stakeholders, both inside and outside companies to achieve improvements.   Please click here to read a summary of our work on environmental, social and governance issues in 2012.

Category: Shareholder Activism

January 14, 2013

Filing at AT&T on net neutrality withdrawn

In response to a shareholder resolution concerning internet policies for wireless networks co-filed by ZAM, AT&T issued a report summairizing its position on the issue. While there were many shortcomings in the report, the filing was withdrawn.

Category: Shareholder Activism

January 10, 2013

Shareowners challenge Chevon for its attack on investors

Click here to read an informational release from The Needmor Fund and Zevin Asset Management regarding the investor reponse to Chevron's attack on shareholder rights. CSRWire and Responsible Investor both ran articles on this initiative. Here is another article from Responsible Investor urging other investors to vote for our shareholder resolution.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

Past performance is not indicative of any specific investment or future results. Views regarding the economy, securities markets or other specialized areas, like all predictors of future events, cannot be guaranteed to be accurate and may result in economic loss to the investor. Specific securities identified and described may or may not be held in portfolios managed by Zevin Asset Management, LLC and do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients. The reader should not assume that investments in the securities identified and discussed were or will be profitable. Any securities identified may not have beenselected based on their performance but as an illustrative tool for demonstrating ZAM's shareholder advocacy approach.