I’m excited to have my interview podcast and video with Andy Behar, the As You Sow CEO, who has 30 years of experience as a Senior Executive and strategist in the cleantech, communications, and life science sectors. He served as COO for a social media agency focused on sustainability and has been a strategic consultant in the nonprofit sector. He is a member of the board of US Social Investing Forum (US-SIF) and is a member of the UN Sustainable Stock Exchange Green Finance Advisory Group. His 2016 book is The Shareholders Action Guide: Unleash Your Hidden Powers to Hold Corporations Accountable. You can see our video of our interview here
As You Sow is a 25 year old non-profit leader in shareholder advocacy. Through their network, they engage with companies to make positive changes.
In 2017, As You Sow filed over 50 resolutions across five program areas.
- Energy (climate change, energy sector transition, hydraulic fracturing, water risk, clean tech)
- Environmental Health (antibiotics & factory farms, GMOs and pesticides, nanomaterials, smoke free movies, toxic enforcement)
- Waste (consumer packaging, ocean plastics, carpet recycling, electronic waste)
- Human Rights (Responsible Sourcing Network – cotton, minerals, anti-slavery)
- CEO Pay
There are many examples of As You Sow using shareholder advocacy to make real changes. You can follow resolutions at: asyousow.org/resolutions-tracker
As You Sow pressured Starbucks to give up plastic straws. Duncan Donuts and McDonald’s to stop using styrofoam.
In addition to filing shareholder resolutions, As You Sow engages with companies. It is much easier to bring up an issue with a company through a call and have them take action. The company can get credit for being responsible. It is much harder to file a shareholder resolution and get support for a change.
As You Sow conducts media campaigns on issues, contacts shareholders, follows voting on issues so they can follow up and contact those who did not support the resolution.
Every March, As You Sow publishes a free guide to proxy voting: Proxypreview.org – this allows shareholders access to an easy guide to vote on shareholder resolutions.
They have a mutual fund screening tool so that mutual fund holders can see and compare the impact of the funds they hold. Many people are not aware of the underlying companies that they hold. As You Sow has a tool for evaluating: carbon footprint, amount fossil fuel free, weapons holdings, deforestation impact and tobacco. They will be adding more screens, including: prisons, women in power and palm oil.
As You Sow is funded through grants and private donations. You can donate at the website: asyousow.org/donate
You can find out more at thier website: asyousow.org
Thank you Andrew Behar for the important work you and As You Sow are doing.