Tomorrow, Thursday, May 21, As You Sow’s CEO Andrew Behar will be presenting a shareholder resolution at the BlackRock annual general meeting starting at 8 a.m. ET. The resolution asks for the production of a report on the “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.” In August 2019, the CEOs of 181 major corporations, including BlackRock, signed the Business Roundtable statement endorsing a new Purpose of a Corporation, saying that corporations exist for the benefit of ALL stakeholders — employees, customers, suppliers, communities, and shareholders, and rejects the notion that corporations exist solely to serve shareholder profits.
In the comments Andrew Behar will present tomorrow, he says that "Now is the time to turn words into action, to actively implement the ideas already agreed to, and create a just and sustainable economy for us and for our children." He explains in his comments that "when a company treats its employees with dignity, retention is increased, reducing the cost of hiring and training. When products are clean and safe, they build customer loyalty. When supply chains are respected, negative brand associations are avoided. When communities are cared for, risks are reduced. All these elements of 'stakeholder capitalism' lead to increased loyalty, decreased risk, and higher profits for shareholders."
The shareholder resolution asks:
- Will BlackRock make the new Purpose of a Corporation legally binding?
- Will BlackRock assist the thousands of companies it invests in to implement the new Purpose?
- Will BlackRock use the power of its $7 trillion to vote in support of shareholder resolutions?
- As the world’s largest shareholder, will BlackRock defend its rights against restrictive rule-changes proposed by the SEC?