Media Contacts: Annalisa Tarizzo, email@example.com, 781-349-2789; Mark Morgenstein, Media Relations Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 678-427-1671
Boston, June 1, 2022 – A notable percentage of Amazon shareholders voted at the company’s annual meeting Wednesday to support a Green Century° shareholder proposal urging the company to significantly reduce its use of plastic packaging. The proposal earned 48.9% support, the highest-ever vote in favor of an environmentally focused shareholder proposal at the company, according to a Ceres database that tracks shareholder proposals.
When Green Century co-filed a similar proposal last year with the shareholder advocacy group As You Sow, it garnered support from 35.5% of shareholders. At the time, that was the highest-ever vote in favor of an environmental shareholder proposal at Amazon as per the Ceres database. However, the company did not adequately respond to investor concerns following last year’s vote, prompting this year’s filing.
“Amazon shareholders have shown for the second year in a row that they believe the company is not doing nearly enough to address its plastic use,” said Leslie Samuelrich, president of Green Century Capital Management. “We urge the company to take shareholders’ concerns to heart and accelerate its plastic reduction efforts.”
Although Amazon does not disclose comprehensive data on its plastic use, research has shown that the company is a large user of plastic packaging. A recent Oceana study estimated that the company’s plastic waste increased by 29% from 2019 to 2020 amid the rise of online ordering during the pandemic.
The flexible plastics in mailer envelopes and cushioning materials that Amazon uses cannot be collected in curbside recycling bins. Those materials make up 59% of plastic produced, but 80% of plastic that ends up in the ocean.
“Amazon uses staggering amounts of plastic packaging that is known to pollute the environment,” said Annalisa Tarizzo, a shareholder advocate with Green Century. “It’s time for the company to develop a plastic reduction strategy in order to mitigate potential reputational risk and protect shareholder value.”
Amazon investor Sara Sackner, with support from As You Sow, is the lead filer of the proposal. Green Century is the co-filer.
About Green Century Capital Management
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are one of the first families of fossil fuel free, environmentally responsible, and diversified mutual funds in the United States. Green Century Capital Management hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of March 31, 2022, Amazon.com, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.00%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
The percentage in favor was calculated by (i) dividing the number of votes in support of the proposal by (ii) the sum of the number of votes voted in support of and against the proposal. Abstentions and broker non-votes were not included in the calculation.
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The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 6/22