Corporate Engagement

Advocacy through corporate engagement is one of the main cornerstones of Karner Blue Capital’s impact platform. Utilizing a number of corporate engagement strategies, KBC seeks to raise the standards of animal welfare across industries.

ADVOCACY PROCESS

KBC has developed a robust process for determining those companies that should be prioritized for corporate engagement.

ISSUE
EVALUATION
KBC determines priority issues based on materiality – inclusive of the size of the animal population affected and perceived level of animal suffering.
INDUSTRY
SELECTION
Industries that have exposure to a priority issue are selected from the corporate universe (e.g. food and beverage, retail for farm animals).
ISSUE
RESEARCH
Companies within the selected industries are evaluated on their policies and practices regarding the specific issue. Analysis includes reviewing press releases, government reports, company websites and consultation with third-party and non-govermental organizations.
ISSUE
STATUS
Based on average performace within the universe, each company is given a score and their issue status is determined {i.e. laggard, leader or average).
ENGAGEMENT
STRATEGY
Issue laggards are flagged and marked for follow up via dialogue, open letter or shareholder resolution where necessary.

OUR ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES

Corporate Dialogue - Karner Blue Capital

CORPORATE DIALOGUE

Corporate dialogue involves directly engaging with companies in conversation, usually in person or by phone. KBC engages with companies to acquire additional insight into corporate policies.
Shareholder Rresolutions - Karner Blue Capital

INVESTOR LETTERS

Socially responsible investment firms often jointly submit investor letters to a company. One or two companies commonly take the lead in drafting and distributing the letter requesting enhanced transparency or specific policy modifications. This is an essential tool used by KBC to engage with companies to improve animal welfare.
Proxy Voting - Karner Blue Capital

PROXY VOTING GUIDELINES

Proxy voting allows shareholders to vote on corporate resolutions. Karner Blue’s Proxy Voting Guidelines are aligned with our core environmental, societal and governance principles and are based on those established by As You Sow (with certain modifications). Download our Proxy Voting Gudelines here.
Public Policy - Karner Blue Capital

SHAREHOLDER RESOLUTIONS

Shareholder resolutions are official filings submitted by company shareholders at annual meetings that are designed to make recommendations to the board of directors. Resolutions often relate to environmental, social, and governance issues. If our attempt at dialogue is unsuccessful, Karner Blue Capital may choose to file shareholder resolutions singularly or with our strategic partners.

OUR CURRENT INITIATIVES

KBC’s farm animal strategy has identified three priority issues related to farm animal welfare based on the number of animals impacted and severity of the issue. Our farm animal strategy is detailed below.

HIGHER WELFARE BREEDING OF BROILER CHICKENS
HIGHER WELFARE BREEDING OF BROILER CHICKENS

The Issue:
Broiler chickens in today’s factory farms are bred to grow large and fast in order to be processed for meat more efficiently.

Leaders:
Transition to higher welfare breeds aligned with the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) , incuding controlled atmosphere stunning by 2024 or earlier.

The Business Case:
Genetic selection can lead to decreased immunity as well as lower nutritional quality (224% more fat, 9% less protein).

REMOVAL OF BATTERY CAGES FOR LAYING HENS
REMOVAL OF BATTERY CAGES FOR LAYING HENS

The Issue:
Battery cages are confined spaces where egg-laying hens are tightly packed together and deprived of the ability to spread their wings and exercise normal behavior.

Leaders:
100% of suppply chain cage free by 2024 or earlier (preference for free-range).

The Business Case:
Caged chickens can lead to Salmonella outbreaks, in addition to causing decreased immunity and higher risk of avian flu outbreak (led to $3.3bn industry losses and 21% reduction in egg prodction in Iowa.

REMOVAL OF GESTATION CRATES IN SOW HOUSING
REMOVAL OF GESTATION CRATES IN SOW HOUSING

The Issue:
Gestation crates are 2ft by 7ft metal stalls used to hold sows, often throughout their lives.

Leaders:
100% of supply chain gestation crate free (i.e. group sow housing) by 2024 or earlier.

The Business Case:
Electronic Sow Feeding (ESF) systems reduce cost in long run and prevent sows from fighting for food.

KBC is currently developing strategies for laboratory animals and wildlife. Please continue to look for upcoming webinars and additional information on these issues on our social media platforms and our website.

With our strategic partners, member organizations and other investment firms, KBC seeks to successfully influence corporate behavior to better the lives of animals globally.