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The Sustainable Investment Institute (Si2), a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., conducts impartial research and publishes reports on organized efforts to influence corporate behavior on social and environmental issues.

Si2 closely follows shareholder resolutions proposed by investor activists, analyzing changing reform campaigns and identifying key points of contention in reports that enable institutional investors to make informed, independent decisions about their votes and views on these proposals. In addition to educational proxy research materials for members, SI2 publishes reports for the interested public on related emerging issues.

Si2 seeks to elevate the debate on investor responsibility and expand the market for robust, impartial analysis of corporate sustainability concerns. Much of the extant research on socially responsible investing and corporate performance is gathered and maintained in proprietary databases by financial service firms, which limits the ability of academic researchers and the public at large to independently and accurately assess corporate behavior. By conducting original research on these issues and making reports more readily available, Si2 will enrich civil society’s knowledge and understanding. It will both inform investors and spur dialogue between key stakeholders and corporations, helping to identify solutions that benefit the world.

Founding members believe that a public interest research institute best realizes the organization’s intended mission; establishment as an independent institute differentiates Si2 from other companies, activists and research firms in the field. We avoid conflicts of interest by not taking a position on the issues we cover.

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CORPORATE POLITICAL SPENDING SHAREHOLDER PROPOSAL RESULTS: Si2 has compiled a short report showing the results of shareholder resolutions over the last five years (2010-2014). The report is available on our blog and may be useful for those considering the pending SEC corporate political spending disclosure petition.

PRELIMINARY PROXY SEASON RESULTS: As of mid-June, Si2 is tracking a record-breaking 447 shareholder resolutions about environmental and social issues, filed at 272 companies. The average support level to date in 2014 is 22.7 percent, the highest ever recorded. Investors are giving the most support to proposals about workplace diversity (mostly regarding LGBT rights), sustainability reporting, board diversity and hydraulic fracturing. By far the greatest number of proposals going to votes concern corporate political spending, however; 67 of the 78 proposals that will go to votes concern disclosure, asking for more information about oversight and expenditures for both election spending and lobbying. So far this year, consistent with past trends, 28 proposals using the template of the Center for Political Accountability have earned on average 29.5 percent support; another 30 proposals about lobbying have earned on average 24.1 percent. Si2's complete analysis of the proxy season will be available for subscribers in July.
June 18: The 2014 proxy season is another record-breaking year, with the number of shareholder resolutions filed up by about 10 percent. Si2 is tracking a total of 447 filings, and projects that a total of 219 will go to votes. As of mid-June, about two dozen resolutions are still pending. Before the end of June, votes will occur at Yahoo! on political spending, lobbying and human rights; at SLM on lobbying; and at Kroger on human rights and packaging.