Apple asked U.S. securities regulators if it can exclude ashareholder proposal that pushes the iPhone maker to explorelinking executive pay to performance on diversity andsustainability.

In an Oct. 9 letter made public this week by the Securities andExchange Commission, Apple attorneys asked if the companycould exclude the proposal, from Zevin Asset Management, becausesimilar initiatives haven't garnered the minimum 6% of shareholdersupport required for re-submission. The SEC rebuffed a similarrequest in 2015.

Apple investors want to know how diversity and sustainability“relate to C-suite accountability” on issues “where the techsector's in crisis,” Pat Tomaino, associate director ofsocially responsible investing at Zevin, said Thursday in aninterview. Zevin owned 36,782 shares of Apple as of June 30,according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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