Join us next week for a direct action against Vanguard at the University of Pennsylvania! On Wednesday, May 26th between 11 am-2 pm, which also is the day of Exxon’s annual general meeting (AGM). We will meet on Penn’s campus to deliver a letter to President Amy Gutmann, demanding that she and the rest of Vanguard’s board of directors vote for climate at next week’s critical shareholder meetings.
In addition to being the largest US-based oil producer, Exxon’s net-zero targets, investments, and policy influence do not align with the goals of the Paris Agreement. As the single largest shareholder of ExxonMobil, Vanguard has significant power to influence the company to shift toward bolder climate action. Next Wednesday at Exxon’s AGM, we urge Vanguard to vote against the reelection of CEO Darren Woods and of Lead Independent Director Kenneth C. Frazier for failing to implement plans consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. The University of Pennsylvania is a uniquely rich target for activism against Vanguard. University President Amy Gutmann’s position on the board of Vanguard — for which she receives an annual compensation of nearly $250,000 — presents a conflict of interest given her jurisdiction over Penn’s $15 billion endowment. As of 2019, 40% of Penn’s retirement funds — over $2 billion! — are invested with Vanguard. Furthermore, climate priorities, like net-zero plans and divestment from thermal coal and tar sands, which Gutmann recently embraced for Penn’s endowment, have still not been applied to the investment options Vanguard offers to participants in the University’s retirement plan. Join us at UPenn next Wednesday, May 26th between 11am-2pm, to send a message to Amy Gutmann and Vanguard! The action will be COVID-safe, so participants must wear masks and maintain social distancing.