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Shareholders Spur Action On Climate Change: Company Commitments From the 2014 & 2015 Proxy Seasons

This report tracks the implementation of climate change-related corporate commitments made in response to shareholder proposals and dialogues in 2014 and 2015. Tracking such information has numerous benefits. It helps investors communicate the impact of shareholder engagement to a broader audience. It also provides an accountability framework to help investors track how companies are following through on commitments they make.

This report tracks the implementation of climate change-related corporate commitments made in response to shareholder proposals and dialogues in 2014 and 2015.

Tracking such information has numerous benefits. It helps investors communicate the impact of shareholder engagement to a broader audience. It also provides an accountability framework to help investors track how companies are following through on commitments they make. As shareholder engagement evolves on climate issues, it is critical to have meaningful data that can inform future engagements.

To prepare this report, Ceres provided the framework within which engagements are tracked. The investors provided the content directly. Thus, the report contains only information shareholders chose to include. In addition to a description and link to the company’s commitment, investors provide a brief assessment of “completeness”—the extent
to which a company met its stated commitment to the investor.

The report illustrates the power of shareholder engagement to build value by improving the sustainability performance of companies.
Out of the 101 corporate commitments described in this report, 73% of companies fully “met” their stated commitment, 13% “mostly met” the commitment, and only 11% either “only partially” or “did not” meet their commitment. The report covers 31 commitments on sustainability reporting, 28 commitments on greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions,

18 on sustainable agriculture and deforestation, 15 on risks to the fossil fuel industry, and 9 on other climate-related topics including governance, water management and political involvement.

Through compelling case studies, the report highlights how investors
are changing company practices on a broad array of climate fronts— from methane emissions to deforestation, from board-level management to sustainability reporting. The examples—including diverse companies such as Archer Daniels Midland, Hess, Marathon Oil and Colgate-Palmolive— show the considerable impact of the growing shareholder engagement movement and the enormous opportunity for achieving bigger impacts
in the future.

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