Spring brings a new proxy voting season, as shareholders exercise their right to raise issues of importance to company management, the board of directors and fellow shareholders. In recent years, the number of shareholder proposals devoted to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have increased at a fast pace. While institutional investors may not be involved in the majority of these proposals, companies should note that institutional consideration of ESG practices has grown significantly.

Last month, the Sustainable Investments Institute, Proxy Impact and As You Sow teamed up to publish their annual guide to proxy season, Proxy Preview 2015. This preview reveals that shareholders have filed 433 resolutions regarding ESG issues (excluding traditional governance proposals) through the middle of February, a slight uptick since the same time last year.

Of those proposals, the greatest proportions pertain to the environment and corporate political activity, at 27 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Many shareholders have withdrawn proposals as the result of corporate action, typically aided by discussions between the filing shareholder and the company’s investor relations team.

To read the full article please visit GreenBiz.com.