Harnessing shareholder and investor pressure

Shareholders and investors play a critical role in many stage of the plastics industry.  If investors are aware and care about an issue they can often highlight their concerns to company boards and call for change.  There are a range of ways to engage with investors as a route to change from inviting them to nurdle hunts, to delivering briefings and meetings to coordinating joint letters from investors to companies.


Investors have powerful influence on companies, and their reach can be international. Improving traceability and transparency, focusing on the importance of governance or sustainability values and understanding how to tie financial material risks into the environmental core values of your campaign are ways to begin build momentum and interest investors.


This kind of work usually targets specific, larger companies, so many smaller companies might still go under the radar. Not all plastic companies have investors.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach  to engagement, every time you are interacting with stakeholders you need to be proactive and flexible. This is a long-term investment in resources, where possible long-term monitoring of a company’s practices means you will be able to assert pressure at the right time having the ultimate impact.

Current Activity

A number of investor initiatives are underway to help address plastic pellet pollution.  In the UK the Investor Forum is working with investors and the plastic value to highlight the issues and has developed further guidance for the industry PAS510. In the US As You Sow works with investors to bring about change and internationally UN Principles for Responsible Investment platform is also being used to highlight the issue to global companies.


  • Build relationships – Learn the core values of the shareholders and investors
  • Target your approach to the specific group or investor you want to engage with and the companies you want them to influence (and make sure these companies have shareholders!)
  • Always use evidence to support any message you want investors to engage with


Investor engagement initiatives

As You Sow – Shareholder Advocacy

As you sow are an organisation working in the US. They promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy,…

Investor Forum – setting the standards on Marine Plastic Pollution

The Investor Forum brought together nine institutional investors to co-sponsor a new British Standards Institution (BSI) technical standard that aims to eliminate plastic pellet leakage into the environment

Sustainable Investment Institute First Sentier MUFG Report – Microplastic pollution: the causes, consequences and issues for investors

This is the first report published by First Sentier MUFG Sustainable Investment Institute which aims to provide research on topics…