Shareholder activism and the environment

Authored by: Michelle Rodrigue , Giovanna Michelon

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Accounting

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367152338
eBook ISBN: 9780367152369
Adobe ISBN:


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The significance of shareholder activism on (social and) environmental issues has grown in importance over the years. Through dialogue and engagement with companies, filing of shareholder proposals or/and discussions at the annual general meeting, activist shareholders take on a proactive role (as opposed to simply selling their shares) to stimulate transformations into environmental practices. This chapter aims to offer a portrayal of shareholder activism on environmental issues, in terms of its nature, history and current developments. The antecedents, process and outcomes associated with environmental activism are covered, followed by a descriptive overview of which environmental topics and corporate actions are being publicly pursued by activist shareholders in recent years. The chapter ends with some reflections arising from our integration of academic research and trends in practice, which highlight issues arising from the environmental activism phenomenon, offer some rays of hope and point out some causes for concerns, culminating in avenues for future research.

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