Pax World Management LLC, investment adviser to Pax World Funds (Pax World), ESG Shares® and ESG Managers® Portfolios, and a leader in the field of Sustainable Investing, announced recently the results of its shareowner and public policy advocacy work during the 2011 proxy season.
Pax World focused on environmental and governance-related initiatives, and also added its voice to several shareholder initiatives to improve public policies or company protocols and disclosures with respect to gender and human rights, financial reform, and workplace practices. In addition, Pax World co-filed five shareholder resolutions, two of which were successfully withdrawn.
Shareholders and investment managers continued to press both government policymakers and companies to improve regulations and practices to protect the environment. During the 2011 proxy season, Pax World signed on to 18 environmental initiatives, many of which focused on the oil and gas industry. For example, Pax World:
- Joined other investors in writing to oil and gas companies engaged in offshore oil drilling, requesting additional information regarding companies policies and programs to manage operational risks and steps taken to improve them.
- Participated in multiple initiatives led by Ceres (a national coalition of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges), encouraging Congress and state legislators to take action on environmental standards. These included decreasing emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gasses; passing comprehensive clean energy legislation; and urging the EPA to raise fuel economy standards for motor vehicle fleets.
- Joined with other investors in the Investor Network on Climate Risk urging California voters to oppose Proposition 23, a statewide ballot initiative that would have stopped implementation of the state’s landmark clean energy bill. The proposition was rejected in the fall 2010 election.
- Participated in several investor initiatives supporting the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the CDP Water Disclosure project, and its newest initiative: CDP Carbon Action. These initiatives urged companies to report greenhouse gas emissions, climate-related risks and opportunities, and management of access to clean water.
- Signed on to an initiative led by As You Sow, urging companies to take responsibility for recycling post-consumer product packaging. The companies receiving the letter included General Mills (1.8% Growth Fund) [Article Note #1], Kraft Foods, Procter & Gamble (1.4% Growth Fund; 0.9% Balanced Fund) and Unilever (1.6% Global Women’s Equality Fund; 1.9% International Fund).
- Co-filed a shareholder resolution, led by Domini Social Investments, with Southwestern Energy (1.4% Growth Fund) requesting that the company publish a report on the risk of hydraulic fracturing as a means of obtaining natural gas. The company agreed to improve its disclosures and work with stakeholders to develop a model disclosure format for other natural gas firms; the resolution was successfully withdrawn.
Pax World continued its advocacy in favor of improved corporate governance practices in 2011, participating with other investors on initiatives regarding executive compensation, disclosure of expenditures on lobbying and political contributions, reducing dissonance between corporate policies and trade association lobbying, and bolstering shareholder rights.
- Joined efforts led by Walden Asset Management and the Center for Political Accountability to write to companies addressing misalignments between company policies on the environment and climate change and the policies and lobbying of two trade associations – the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) – of which they are members. Pax World also co-filed shareholder resolutions with Walden Asset Management at Pfizer Inc. (2.3% Global Women’s Equality Fund; 0.4% Balanced Fund), 3M (1.5% Growth Fund; 1.1% Global Women’s Equality Fund; 2.7% Global Green Fund; 0.1% Balanced Fund) and ConocoPhilips (1.6% Growth Fund; 2.4% Global Women’s Equality Fund; 1.8% Balanced Fund), whose representatives served on the board of the Chamber of Commerce. These resolutions were presented on the floor at annual shareholder meetings in an effort to gain greater attention to the issue.
- In another effort led by Walden Asset Management, signed letters addressed to several companies supporting an annual shareholder advisory vote on executive compensation. Since January 2011, Pax World has voted against proposals on executive pay 318 times and in favor of those proposals 62 times.
- Collaborated with other investors, led by Domini Social Investments, in a letter urging President Obama to sign an executive order requiring all government contractors to disclose political contributions.
Gender and Human Rights
Pax World continued to lead an investor initiative in collaboration with the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), Calvert, and other institutional investors to encourage greater gender equality on boards of directors and in senior management, and to promote improved disclosure.
This year, Pax World launched a campaign to promote greater gender diversity on corporate boards by encouraging investors to vote no on proxies that did not contain a sufficient number of women. During the proxy season, Pax World withheld votes from, or voted against, 264 director slates for insufficient gender diversity, sending notification letters to those companies explaining why and offering guidelines to improve diversity.
Pax World also signed letters coordinated by the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking addressed to the appropriations committees in both houses of Congress, urging them to fund a series of authorized programs critical to fighting human trafficking and slavery.
Pax World sent several letters to members of Congress and the White House in the final weeks of deliberation over the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, urging that it mandate director election reform by requiring shareholder nominees, under appropriate conditions, be included in company proxy materials and mandating majority voting for directors.
About Pax World Management LLC
Pax World Management LLC, the investment adviser to Pax World Funds, is a recognized leader in Sustainable Investing, the full integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment analysis and decision making. Pax World launched the financial industry’s first socially responsible mutual fund in 1971. Today, Pax World offers a comprehensive platform of Sustainable Investing solutions including Pax World Funds, a family of no-load mutual funds; ESG Managers® Portfolios, multi-manager asset allocation funds powered by Morningstar Associates; ESG Shares®, the first family of ETFs devoted exclusively to a Sustainable Investing approach; and separately managed accounts [Article Note #2], for institutional investors. For more information, visit http://www.paxworld.com
 Portfolio holdings as of 6/30/2011. Holdings are subject to change. Kraft Foods is not currently held by the funds.
 Separately managed accounts and related advisory services are provided by Pax World Management LLC, a federally registered investment adviser. ALPS Distributors, Inc. is not the distributor for Pax World’s separately managed accounts.
Additional Pax World Information
You should consider Pax World Funds’ investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses carefully before investing. For this and other important information, please obtain a fund prospectus by calling 800.767.1729 or visit http://www.paxworld.com
Please read it carefully before investing. Copyright © 2011 Pax World Management LLC. All rights reserved.
Pax World Management LLC is the investment adviser to the ESG Managers® Portfolios. Morningstar Associates, LLC, a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc., serves as portfolio construction adviser to the ESG Managers® Portfolios responsible for manager selection, asset allocation, portfolio construction and monitoring, but does not serve in the capacity of investment advisor to individual investors. The Morningstar name and logo are the property of Morningstar, Inc. Morningstar is not affiliated with Pax World Management LLC. ALPS Distributors, Inc. is not affiliated with Morningstar Associates, LLC. Equity investments are subject to market fluctuations, the fund’s share price can fall because of weakness in the broad market, a particular industry, or specific holdings.
Distributed by: ALPS Distributors, Inc. Member FINRA
Article Source: Pax World