AS YOU SOW

Empowering Shareholders to Change Corporations for Good

Berkeley, CA   |  https://www.asyousow.org/

Mission

To promote corporate social and environmental responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, innovative legal strategies, and online financial transparency tools.

Ruling year info

1993

CEO

Andrew Behar

President & Chief Counsel

Danielle Fugere

Main address

Main Post Office PO Box 751

Berkeley, CA 94701 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-3169008

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

Consumer Protection and Safety (W90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

As You Sow believes that corporations at the very least contribute to, and more often are responsible for creating, most of today's pressing social and environmental problems. We also believe that corporations must be a willing part of the solutions — if corporations aren't willing participants, the solutions won't hold. We believe shareholders are the single most powerful force for creating positive, lasting change in corporate behavior, and we use that power, to create that change.

We tackle a broad range of environmental and social issues, including climate change and clean energy, sustainable food systems, reduction of toxins in consumer products, reduction of plastic and ocean waste, equitable living wages, and human rights, insisting that corporations be part of the solutions — that they stay on a path of forward progress —that respecting environmental and social protections is good for companies, good for society, and good for the economy.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Corporate Social Responsibility

The Corporate Social Responsibility Program engages in dialogue with senior management and has filed shareholder resolutions with hundreds of public companies. These actions have led individual companies and entire industries to increase corporate responsibility resulting in direct and continued positive impact to the environment.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Environmental Enforcement Program has engaged in litigation with over 300 companies that violated California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65). We reach settlements resulting in thousands of products being reformulated, relabeled or removed from the market.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

California Stewardship Bow and Arrow Award for Coalition Building 2010

California State Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

NGO Activist Award 2009

Climate Change Business Journal

BENNY for PVC program 2008

Business Ethics Network

BENNY - Path to Victory, PVC program 2007

Business Ethics Network

SRI Service Award 2007

Social Investment Forum

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of reports written/published

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Corporate Social Responsibility

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of new website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Corporate Social Responsibility

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of press releases developed and distributed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of press articles published

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our vision is a safe, just, and sustainable world in which protecting the environment and human rights is central to corporate decision making.

• Our Energy program seeks to protect children, families, and communities from climate change and the toxic byproducts of fracking
• Our Environmental Health program seeks safer consumer products by causing corporations to remove chemicals and other potentially dangerous additives, such as antibiotics, pesticides, and nanomaterials, from their products
• Our Waste program advocates for responsible production and recycling of consumer packaging and electronic waste to protect our limited natural resources and our oceans
• Our Executive Compensation initiative works to rein in the egregious pay practices that distort incentives, exacerbate income inequality, and drive wider social inequality
• Our Human Rights programs seeks to eradicate modern slavery and forced labor from the supply chains of our everyday products, beginning with cotton and conflict minerals

We are the nation's leading non-profit practitioner of shareholder advocacy, using shareholder power to move corporations toward environmentally & socially responsible business practices that benefit people, planet, & profit.

We work with investors to activate their portfolios; & work collaboratively with management to develop & implement business models that reduce risk, benefit brand reputation, & protect long-term shareholder value while creating positive change for the environment. We file shareholder resolutions; conduct substantive dialogues with corporate management; research & publish reports; educate media & the investor community about issues & about shareholder power & responsibility; create online mutual fund transparency tools; & conduct public outreach in our program areas. We build coalitions with investment community allies including socially responsible investors (SRIs), pension funds, labor groups, foundations, & faith-based investor communities.

We help shareholders large & small vote their values & use the power of their proxies to advocate for & effect change & hold corporations accountable. Many shareholders—foundations, funds, endowments, individuals—either do not vote their proxies, or vote against their mission & values. Voting matters; even modest votes deliver powerful messages. We publish Proxy Preview to make voting easy by organizing social & environmental resolutions into one comprehensive, accessible publication, & develop & distribute proxy voting guidelines. To help investors exercise choice on their exposure to carbon asset risk, & in response to the moral & the growing financial risk of fossil fuel stocks, we offer Fossil Free Funds, an online tool that screens mutual fund holdings for fossil fuel companies.

Our Energy program works to combat climate change & hasten the transition to a clean energy future. We press oil companies to account for their growing carbon asset risk; to avoid high cost, high carbon projects likely to be stranded in a carbon-constrained world; & to shift toward cleaner models of energy production. We work with utilities to shift their power mixes away from coal, increase the uptake of energy efficiency & clean energy, & encompass distributed energy.

We press companies on the risks of toxic & harmful materials in food. We work to decrease consumption of lead in food through education, outreach, & media; & corporate engagement & litigation. We address the misuse & overuse of antibiotics in factory farms, seeking to combat the rise of dangerous antibiotic-resistance bacteria. We tackle glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup & the most used pesticide in history, now identified as human carcinogen.

We advocate for responsible production & recycling of packaging, & electronics to reduce waste, pollution, ocean plastics, & demand on limited natural resources, pressing companies toward aggressive packaging recyclability & recycled content.

As You Sow has been using shareholder power to hold corporations accountable since 1992, working with investors to make an impact; educating individual and institutional shareholders about the power of the proxy; encouraging investors to use their voice; and promoting alignment of investments with values.

We have led or actively participated in hundreds of shareholder engagements and actions. Some of the many companies whose policies and practices we have influenced for good are Abbott Labs, Dunkin Donuts, Chevron, ExxonMobil, General Electric, McDonald's, Safeway, Whole Foods, Yum! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), Apple, Dell, HP, Best Buy, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestlé Waters, Starbucks, Target, Gap, Home Depot, Walt Disney, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and DuPont. In recent years we have been instrumental in:
• Eliciting the oil industry's first-of-its-kind report on exposure to assets stranded by climate change concerns, from ExxonMobil
• Pressing General Mills to remove GMOs from Cheerios and Abbott Labs to offer a non-GMO version of Similac infant formula
• Increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy at utilities Southern Company and Entergy
• Securing a commitment from Dunkin' Donuts to remove the nanomaterial titanium dioxide from its white powdered sugar doughnuts
• Establishing e-waste take‐back programs at Apple, Dell, HP, and Best Buy, keeping 500,000 tons of e-waste out of landfill where it leaches mercury, lead and cadmium into the air and water
• Securing commitments from Colgate-Palmolive, Proctor & Gamble, and Unilever to phase out unrecyclable packaging across all or most product lines
• Moving McDonald's to replace polystyrene cups with recycled paper cups at 14,000 U.S. stores, removing 770 million cups every year from the waste stream

We have led or actively participated in 100s of shareholder engagements & actions over the last 25 years. Our most recent years' impact includes:
2017
•Unilever agrees to make all consumer product packaging recyclable
•Arizona Public Service Co, a utility infamous for trying to kill renewable energy standards in Arizona, issues surprisingly strong political spending disclosure
•Signatories to our anti-slavery Cotton Pledge reach 270 brands & $1 trillion market cap
•# of fossil free, socially responsible mutual funds triples since 2015
•We launch Tobacco Free Funds, exposing investments in tobacco, tobacco-promoting entertainment
•3rd edition of “100 Most Overpaid CEOs" finds that companies with the 5 most overpaid CEOs LOST 5% of company value over last 2 years
•2017 saw an historic proxy season, with a record number of environmental & social resolutions filed & some of the highest vote totals ever recorded
2018
-Dunkin' Donuts agrees to phase out foam cups by 2020, removing nearly 1 billion foam cups from the waste stream annually
-Starbucks commits to eliminate the use of plastic straws (3 billion a year)
-Kraft Heinz and Mondelez become the 4th and 5th major companies to agree to make 100% of packaging recyclable, reusable, or renewable.
-McDonalds commits to eliminate polystyrene foam globally
-Sanderson Farms will elimiate medically important antibiotics in its poultry operations.
-Chili's and Maggiano's agree to work toward eliminating chicken raised with medically important antibiotics.
-Anadarko shareholders voted 53% in favor of our climate risk assessment resolution.
-Chevron Shareholders voted 45% in favor of our fugitive methane resolution and acknowledged they need to do better on this issue.
-Monster Beverage shareholder voted 20% in support of ground-breaking anti-slavery resolution.
2019
-Monster Beverage followed through after shareholder vote and transformed its policies and practices in under a year.
-Colgate-Palmolive began shipping the world's first recyclable toothpaste tube.
-Unilever agreed to eliminate 100,000 tons of plastic packaging.
-General Mills makes a public commitment to regenerative agriculture and to begin pesticide reporting.
-Denny's restaurants established a policy disallowing antibiotics in its chicken supply chain.
-McDonald's agrees to elimiate antibiotics in the majority of its beef supply chain.
-ExxonMobil, Chevron, Phillips 66, and DowDuPont all agree to report on nurdle spills, the 2nd largest source of ocean plastic pollution.
-Amazon commits to net zero emissions by 2040: 100% renewable energy by 2030; orders 100,000 fully electric delivery vehicles, and disclosed its verified carbon footprint.
-Xcel Energy set a net zero carbon emissions target, the first to do so.
-Duke, DTE< and NRG followed Xcel's lead with net zero commitments of their own.
-Devon Energy set a new target to reduce its methane emissions intensity.
-First Energy published its first climate risk and analysis report.
-Entergy published its first climate reports and set an emissions intensity target.
-We launched a major initiative targeting gender equity in the workplace engaging 31 companies in direct dialogue.
2020
-Kroger committed to make its packaging 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
-Starbucks agreed to shift from single-use to reusable packaging, and to cut its global packaged waste 50%.
-YUM! Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut) the world's largest quick service restaurant company, agreed to end polystyrene foam packaging glovally.
-Kellogg's committed to phase out glyphosate as a pre-harvest desiccant in its wheat and oat supply chains.
-Campbell's and JM Smucker agreed to take steps toward reducing pesticide use/risk in supply chains.
-General Mills is expannding the regnerative farming commitment it made to us last year as suppliers are already seeing more pollinators and birds returning to farms.
-Morgan Stanley, Billead Sciences, JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard and MetLife agreed to substantial commitments on workplace equity and diversity reporting disclosures - the first step to accountability.
-Arizona Public Service announced it would delivery 100% clean, carbon-free electricity to its customers by 2050 and end all coal-fired generation.
-Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, and Southern Co. all set goals to achieve net zero Greenhouse Gas emissions.
-General Electric announced its exit from coal in their new build power market.
-Uber committed to become a net-zero platform and to set a science-based target to reduce its emissions to align with Paris Climate goals.
-MorganStanley and JPMorgan Chase announced they will align their financial emmissions with the Paris Agreement: net-zero by 2040.

What's next? We'll continue to hold corporations accountable, fighting for the future we all deserve

Financials

AS YOU SOW
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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AS YOU SOW

Board of directors
as of 08/26/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Cari Rudd

Caribou Strategies

Term: 2021 - 2021

Thomas Van Dyck

RBC Wealth Management

Randall Hayes

Foundation Earth

Ric Lucien

Lucien & Co, Inc

Cari Rudd

Caribou Strategies LLC

Amanda Hanley

Hanley Foundation

Annarie Lyles

Bio-Gist Ventures

Kaveri Marathe

Texiles

Abigail Rome

Green America

Cecily Joseph

Geoffrey Haynes

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/09/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.