Shareholders Unite!

The past year has seen unprecedented efforts by shareholders to hold their companies accountable

| October 3, 2003 Issue

In the wake of massive corporate malfeasance during the past year, shareholders have stepped forward in unprecedented numbers to hold big business accountable.

Corporate governance scandals pushed irate shareholders to file a record 1,082 resolutions by the end of June with an unprecedented 130 of them receiving more than 50 percent support from shareholders, reports Conrad MacKerron in GreenMoney Journal. This advocacy boom marks a new era in corporate governance, in which greater numbers of stockholders than ever are demanding higher levels of social responsibility and accountability. "Investors stood up to be counted using their voice," said Tim Smith, president of the Social Investment Forum and senior vice-president at Walden Asset Management. They voted to press corporations "to be responsible leaders in the areas of corporate, social, and environmental responsibility."