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Boston, January 3, 2022 – Green Century° has filed a shareholder proposal with Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, urging the technology giant to make its devices more easily repairable by consumers and independent repair shops.
Although thrown away electronics is the fastest growing waste stream globally, repair options that would extend the lifespan of devices are limited. Google does not address the repairability of its devices when assessing their environmental impact. The company has also been known to lobby against legislation that would expand repair access.
“Given the current regulatory landscape and growing interest from consumers, any company in the technology industry that is not embracing repair exposes itself to significant risk,” said Leslie Samuelrich, president of Green Century Capital Management.
The Federal Trade Commission has said it will begin investigating companies thought to be illegally restricting repair access, and 27 states have considered repair legislation in the last year.
The proposal is the second filed by Green Century this year aimed at reducing electronic waste and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the electronics industry. The first was filed with Apple* and was withdrawn after the company announced a new DIY repair program, which will provide consumers with the resources necessary to perform common repairs to certain phone and laptop models. Microsoft* also announced in October that it will increase consumer options for device repair by the end of next year.
“We urge Google to follow in the footsteps of industry peers like Apple and Microsoft and stop restricting repair,” Samuelrich added.
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 the first family of fossil fuel free, 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 September 30, 2021, Alphabet Inc. Class A comprised 2.79%, 4.13%, and 0.00%; Alphabet Inc. Class C comprised 0.00%, 3.98%, and 0.00%; Apple Inc. comprised 3.01%, 0.00%, and 0.00%; and Microsoft comprised 2.94%, 10.35%, 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.
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