Apple pushes back against shareholder measures on human rights & greenhouse gases
Apple is reportedly looking to block at least four shareholder proposals ahead of its annual meeting in early 2018, including ones involving human rights and greenhouse gas pollution.
An attorney for Apple sent multiple letters to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in November, arguing that the four proposals involve "ordinary business" and can be left off of a proxy Apple is expected publish ahead of the meeting, Reuters said. A key part of Apple's position is guidance issued by the SEC on Nov. 1, which suggested that company boards should usually decide if a resolution is important enough to vote on.
One of the proposals would set up a "human rights committee," tackling topics such as censorship. CEO Tim Cook has come under fire for the company's willingness to remove App Store titles the Chinese government deems a threat, and his decision to attend the World Internet Conference — - an event sponsored by the Chinese government and promoting its view of a strictly controlled internet.
A measure submitted by Boston's Jantz Management would have Apple report on its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Apple contends that this is unnecessary, at least in part because of existing efforts to be more environmentally friendly, such as increasing renewable energy in its supply chain.
Apple often resists shareholder proposals imposing new obligations, even when they would seemingly align with its ideology. The company has repeatedly refused measures intended to produce more executive diversity, even as it tries to increase diversity amongst its broader workforce.
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