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2023 Proxy Season Addresses Enactments of General Chapter
PAB logo and General Chapter 2022 Logo

By Sister Judy Byron, OP Consultant, Portfolio Advisory Board 

The 2023 shareholder engagements of the Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) of the Adrian Dominican Sisters will carry out the Enactments of our 19th General Chapter, held in June 2022. In addition to electing our new leadership, more than 200 Sisters of the Congregation affirmed our focus for the next six years on areas including diversity, sustainability, and women. 

In our 2023 Shareholder Advocacy Plan, the PAB committed to raise up systemic inequities and the quest for racial justice in corporate board rooms, where we will advocate for policies and practices which respect human rights and promote worker justice, food justice, health equity, and a transition to a low-carbon future. 

Focusing on our Adrian Dominican Enactment on Diversity to “act to dismantle unjust systems; and build the beloved community in which everyone is cared for, absent of poverty, hunger, and hate,” we engage Walmart and Dine Brands (Applebee’s and IHOP) on providing adequate wages and benefits for their employees. Research by the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University found that more than one-third of U.S. families that work full-time year-round do not earn enough to cover a basic family budget. More than half of Black and Hispanic families cannot afford basic needs. 

We plan to continue addressing information and communications technology companies, Alphabet and Meta Platforms (Facebook), on child sexual exploitation online. In 2021 the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Cyber Tipline received 29.3 million reports of suspected child sex abuse materials online. Some 92.2% of the reports involved Meta mobile apps Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. 

In support of the human right to health and the dignity of each person, we ask pharmaceutical companies to adopt a human rights policy which includes the right to the highest standard of health for all with a focus on women, Indigenous Peoples, and those living in poverty and to develop drug pricing strategies that support affordability and access for all. Companies that we engage include Eli Lilly, Gilead Sciences, Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer. 

Acting on our Sustainability Enactment “to address the cry of Earth and the cry of those who are poor,” we engage companies to assess the impact of their operations on society, the local economy, and the environment. We especially focus on the most vulnerable, including women, Indigenous Peoples, communities of color, and people who are impoverished. 

We ask fossil fuel companies to adopt technologies to monitor and reduce methane emissions. The Environmental Defense Fund says that “cutting methane emissions is the fastest opportunity we have to immediately slow the rate of global warming, even as we decarbonize our energy systems.” In addition we ask fossil fuel companies to improve their public disclosure and transparency reporting, including plans to comply with a regulatory scenario that holds global temperature rise below a 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold. Companies in this sector include Exxon Mobil and Marathon Petroleum. 

The PAB is a member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), which pioneered the use of shareholder advocacy more than 50 years ago. “Inspired by faith, committed to action” to build a more just and sustainable world, ICCR members in the 2022 proxy season engaged hundreds of companies with thousands of dialogues and with more than 500 shareholder resolutions. We reached agreements with companies to implement the resolution requests for 174 proposals; the majority focused on climate issues and racial justice. 

 

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Portfolio Advisory Board,  Adrian Dominican Sisters | 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive | Adrian, Michigan 49221
Phone: (517) 266-3523 | Email: