We've been reading a lot of stories lately about the politically conservative anti-woke backlash against environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. We wondered: Is that having an impact on plastics?
After all, publicly traded companies in the plastics supply chain are regular targets of shareholder proposals.
It turns out that plastics shareholder resolutions got less support this year at major public companies, a development that green investors say reflects rising anti-ESG sentiment around plastics issues. Steve Toloken has all the details, and he notes that the results are pretty nuanced.
Nearly all of the time, plastics-related ESG resolutions fail to get majority approval from shareholders. But when they get significant approval, they frequently prompt policy changes anyway. So a losing result might still be a win, and Conrad MacKerron of shareholder advocacy group As You Sow told Toloken that they've had some significant wins this year.
The big players in the ESG battle are institutional investors and asset managers, so what we're seeing is a shift in how they vote on environmental and social themes. MacKerron told Toloken that this year's proxy results continue to show that investors are concerned about plastics, even if it's too soon to say if lower support is a permanent shift or temporary blip.