Do You Know Your Activist Vocab?
May 7, 2007
Activist Vocab Test:
(1) What does SRI mean?
(2) What does AGM mean?
These two questions tackle an important part of most consumer campaigns . . . hitting companies where it hurts . . . their shareholder demands.
SRI mean Socially Responsible Investing. Wikipedia details the history and such here. But basically it means that people who want to invest in corporations that are more environmentally or socially responsible use a socially responsible investing firm to play the stock market. They do all the research and activism to encourage good behavior, practices, and policies and the investors make the money. (It is also a good way for companies to understand that if those that play the stock market can make money with a company that is good for the planet they will.)
When you are a stockholder in a company you get to participate in guiding the company to do good and part of that guiding is voting at the AGM (Annual General Meeting). You know those boring meetings companies have to have once a year to listen to what their stockholders have to say. They even have to listen to it if they disagree.
A lot of times, activists use these meetings to get the attention of the board members and stockholders about the issues they care passionately about. Sometimes they do funky things like stand up and take off the boring collared shirts to show awesome t-shirts with their campaign messages, hand out buttons, or sit quietly until the Q&A sessions where they get to ask hard questions and whoever is representing the company needs to answer.
Do you see where this is going now?
Apple’s AGM is on Thursday. Even though they made this big announcement last week, there are places where Apple can do better (global take back — I’m turning into a broken record these days) and as shareholders we want to help them go green to the core (have you checked out that great animation on the front of www.greenmyapple.org? awesome!)
Two SRI’s that have been working on helping Apple score a 10 is As You Sow and Trillium. Both groups do amazing work and have for years.
This is what As You Sow has to say about Apple.
This is what Trillium has to say about Apple.
If you want to learn more about why social and environmental justice organizations think attending AGM’s are good, you should totally read Rules for Radicals. It tells a good story.