ABBVIE INC. | Political spending at ABBVIE INC.

35.59% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Corporate purpose
  • Lobbying / political engagement
  • Public health
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Health Care
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Shareholders request that AbbVie annually analyze and report, at reasonable expense, the congruence of its political, lobbying, and electioneering expenditures during the preceding year against its publicly stated company values and policies, listing and explaining instances of incongruent expenditures, and stating whether the identified incongruencies have or will lead to a change in future expenditures or contributions.
Whereas clause
The political expenditures of AbbVie Inc. (“AbbVie”) appear to be misaligned with the Company’s publicly stated values and vision across a number of issue areas.
AbbVie states that it believes climate change is impacting human health and has committed to joining the Science Based Targets initiative, which requires companies to align their emissions with the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C.[1] Yet, AbbVie is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has consistently lobbied to roll back U.S. climate regulation and promotes regulations that would slow the transition towards a low carbon energy mix.
AbbVie has stated, "We are committed to equity, equality, diversity and inclusion (“EED&I”). It’s fundamental to who we are and it’s just how we 'do good business.’” AbbVie has also written, "EED&I is good for our people and patients, and also for our business—strengthening performance, helping us innovate and understand our customers, and retaining the best talent."[2] Yet, AbbVie contributed to multiple trade associations that have supported and promoted voter suppression laws.[3] Further, in the 2020-2022 election cycles, AbbVie and its employee PACs donated at least $1,604,250 to politicians and political organizations working to weaken women’s access to reproductive health care. Reductions in access to reproductive health care may also put at risk future sales for AbbVie subsidiaries Allergan and Odyssea Pharma, which both manufacture birth control.
AbbVie has stated, "[W]e believe patients need access to quality and affordable medicines. Improving health outcomes for patients around the world is one of AbbVie’s corporate responsibility commitments and is integral to our core business strategy."[4] However, AbbVie contributes to PhRMA, which supports numerous organizations opposing efforts to reform drug pricing.
To minimize possible missteps and risk to the firm's reputation and brand, AbbVie should establish clear policies and report on corporate electioneering and political spending that conflicts with its stated healthcare, social, and environmental objectives.
Supporting statement
Proponents recommend, at management discretion, that the report also contain an analysis of risks to our company's brand, reputation, and shareholder value of expenditures in conflict with publicly stated Company values. “Expenditures for electioneering communications" means spending, from the corporate treasury and from its PACs, during the year, directly or through third parties, in printed, internet, or broadcast communications, which are reasonably susceptible to interpretation as being in support of or in opposition to a specific candidate.

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
Anima Sgr For As a report on the congruence of the company s political expenditures with its stated values would enable shareholders to have a more comprehensive understanding of how the company oversees and manages risks related to its political spending. The shareholders are requesting that the company report on any misalignment between the company s publicly stated policies and the company's political contributions. The company is still exposed to risks related to incongruency between the company's statement and those made by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and about political donations to politicians who have worked to restrict access to reproductive health care. Shareholder may want to engage with the company on those relationships.
LocalTapiola Asset Management Ltd For A vote FOR this proposal is warranted, as additional disclosure of the company's direct and indirect lobbying payments would help shareholders better assess the risks and benefits associated with the company's participation in the public policy process
VidaCaixa For
Rothschild & co Asset Management For
Kutxabank Gestion SGIIC SAU. Against

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