NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Women-led impact investment firm, Domini Impact Investments, filed a shareholder proposal, along with co-filers Adrian Dominican Sisters, Portico Benefit Services, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Trinity Health, and United Church Funds, calling on Dollar General to conduct a third-party audit on worker health and safety. It passed, receiving 67.7% of the vote at the retailer’s annual shareholder meeting on May 31st.
Dollar General has a track record of store safety violations and inadequate response from executives. As a result, Domini joined stakeholders and workers this week at the company’s annual shareholder meeting to advocate for safer working conditions. Several labor advocacy groups from across the country were also present, including Step Up Louisiana, United for Respect, and Union of Southern Service Workers (USSW). Shareholders voted in favor of our proposal asking for an independent audit that will assess the company’s management practices and how its business model contributes to widespread and repeated risks to workers’ and customers’ safety and well-being.
Director of Engagement, Mary Beth Gallagher, on this week’s events: “This is a significant win for Dollar General’s workers. It brings the backing of a majority of the company’s shareholders to the mandate to bring in an independent auditor to look across the business model to examine what is going wrong. We expect that Dollar General will follow the call from its investors to move forward to conduct the audit, so that appropriate worker and customer informed solutions can be put in place.”
Advocacy groups and Dollar General workers have criticized store leadership for the absence of prompt and adequate response to violent incidents, and workers are demanding improved internal policies regarding staffing, infrastructure, and updated safety codes. Dollar General has experienced significant growth, now with over 19,000 stores across the U.S. and has recently made headlines for being included in OSHA’s “Severe Violator Enforcement Program”, a program for employers with “willful, repeated” safety violations that haven’t taken effective measures toward improvement, facing $21 million in fines.
Director of Impact Research, Lionella Pezza: “The support from fellow shareholders of Dollar General on this critical issue is promising. From a corporate social responsibility and research perspective, this type of retail outlet can help provide access to more affordable products, especially food and medicines, for middle- and low-income households living in areas that have been historically underserved. This is all the more the reason why companies like Dollar General need to ensure safe and healthy in-store conditions for workers, whose well-being and satisfaction needs to be a top priority for sustainable companies positioned to thrive over the long run.”
About Domini Impact Investments LLC:
Domini Impact Investments LLC is a women-led SEC registered investment adviser that harnesses the power of finance to help create a better world. With an exclusive focus on impact investing, we aim to help drive positive outcomes for our planet and its people while seeking competitive financial returns. Our continuous innovation and caring, diverse community fuel tomorrow’s prosperity as we endeavor to make “investing for good” the way all investing is done.
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An investment in the Domini Funds is not a bank deposit, is not insured, and is subject to certain risks, including loss of principal. An investment in the Domini Impact Equity Fund is subject to certain risks, including impact investing, portfolio management, information, market, mid- to large-cap companies, and small-cap companies risks. An investment in the Domini International Opportunities Fund is subject to certain risks, including foreign investing, geographic focus, country, currency, impact investing, portfolio management, and information risks. An investment in the Domini Sustainable Solutions Fund is subject to certain risks, including sustainable investing, portfolio management, information, market, mid- to large-cap companies, and small-cap companies risks. An investment in the Domini Impact International Equity Fund is subject to certain risks, including foreign investing and emerging markets, geographic focus, country, currency, impact investing, portfolio management, and quantitative investment approach risks. Investing internationally involves special risks, such as currency fluctuations, social and economic instability, differing securities regulations and accounting standards, limited public information, possible changes in taxation, and periods of illiquidity. These risks may be heightened in connection with investments in emerging market countries. An investment in the Domini Impact Bond Fund is subject to certain risks including impact investing, portfolio management, style, information, market, interest rate, and credit risks.
The Adviser’s evaluation of environmental and social factors in its investment selections and the timing of the Subadviser’s implementation of the Adviser’s investment selections will affect the Fund’s exposure to certain issuers, industries, sectors, regions, and countries and may impact the relative financial performance of the Fund depending on whether such investments are in or out of favor. The value of your investment may decrease if the Adviser’s or Subadviser’s judgment about Fund investments does not produce the desired results. There is a risk that information used by the Adviser to evaluate environmental and social factors, may not be readily available or complete, which could negatively impact the Adviser’s ability to evaluate such factors and Fund performance.
As of 03/31/23, Dollar General Corp. represented the following % of the Domini Impact Equity Fund’s portfolio [0.18%]. The composition of the Fund’s portfolio is subject to change. The Domini Funds maintain portfolio holdings disclosure policies that govern the timing and circumstances of disclosure to shareholders and third parties of information regarding the portfolio investments held by the Funds.
Nothing herein is to be considered a recommendation concerning the merits of any noted company, or an offer of sale or solicitation of an offer to buy shares of any Fund or company referenced herein. Such offering is only made by prospectus, which includes details as to the offering price and other material information. The Domini Funds are only offered for sale in the United States. DSIL Investment Services LLC (DSILD) distributor, Member FINRA. Domini Impact Investments LLC is the Funds’ Adviser. The Funds are subadvised by unafilliated entities. 6/23