Mothers Out Front members scored a big win at the May 11th Dominion Energy Annual Meeting thanks to the terrific effort of two Mothers Out Front members, Freeda Cathcart from Roanoke, VA (far left) and David Backer from Newton, MA (2nd from left).
Freeda and David, supported by Mothers Out Front and our allies, decided to call on the management of Dominion Energy to do better than make empty climate promises. As individual shareholders, Freeda and David took on the challenge of submitting their own shareholder resolutions to be voted on at Dominion’s Annual meeting on May 11.
On April 13, Mothers Out Front Corporate Action Group held a webinar to support sending a strong message to Dominion Energy. Attendees emailed top investors in Dominion Energy asking that they vote for both, common-sense resolutions at the Annual Meeting.
David’s resolution asked that Dominion Energy set and publish “medium-term” targets for Dominion’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals so shareholders could track the company’s progress against its stated intention. David’s resolution got a remarkable 17% of the votes cast. Although it didn’t pass, the company got a strong message from its shareholders.
It never happens – but it did this time – Freeda’s resolution passed with a whopping 80.1% of the shareholder votes cast. Freeda’s resolution asked Dominion Energy to report annually on the risks it faces from stranded assets. Stranded assets are a company’s investments in infrastructure or capacity that are dead ends, blocked, or not needed. A perfect example is the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Stranded assets are bad for the shareholders, bad for the company, and really bad for the climate. So, bringing the light of day to them is very important.
Here are articles describing the wins: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2022/05/11/shareholders-ask-dominion-for-report-on-risk-of-stranded-natural-gas-assets/ and https://www.eenews.net/articles/meet-the-climate-investor-who-challenged-warren-buffett/ . (NOTE: If you are interested, look into the role played in proxy voting by the shareholder advisory firms Glass Lewis & Co. LLC and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) Inc. – the most powerful players we’ve never heard about.)
Congratulations, Freeda and David! And thank you for showing us that each of us can make ourselves heard in the face of corporate power.