Press Release Contact: Kyle W. Kempf, Green Century Capital Management, email@example.com, (617) 482-0800
Boston, September 17, 2020 – Green Century° has filed a shareholder proposal with Procter & Gamble (P&G), one of the largest consumer packaged goods companies in the world, calling on the company to eliminate deforestation and forest degradation in its supply chain. Shareholders will vote, virtually, on the resolution on October 13, at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
“P&G’s failure to adequately mitigate deforestation and forest degradation in its supply chains poses material financial risk to the company and its shareholders,” said Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich. “The company must catch up to its peers and enact stronger policies to prevent unsustainable forest products from entering its supply chain.”
P&G sources wood pulp from Canada, including the climate-critical boreal forest to produce its line of tissue products. Old-growth forests such as the Canadian boreal store large amounts of carbon, and managing them sustainably is critical to combating the climate crisis. The boreal accounts for 30% of global forest cover and is located in the northern latitudes of Canada, Russia, and Scandinavia.
P&G currently sources wood pulp certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which does not prohibit logging in old growth and high conservation value forests, such as the Canadian boreal, or provide safeguards for threatened species like caribou.
Green Century is urging P&G to reduce its reliance on natural forest fibers and ensure all remaining virgin fiber is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the industry gold standard.
P&G lags behind competitors like Kimberly-Clark, which has committed to halving its use of natural forest fibers, including those from the Canadian boreal, and sourcing 90% of its wood pulp from alternative, recycled, or FSC-certified fibers by 2025.
Deforestation, forest degradation and other land use changes are responsible for approximately 23% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Deforestation and forest degradation also contribute to biodiversity loss, soil erosion, disrupted rainfall patterns, land conflicts, and forced labor.
The environmental and social problems associated with deforestation and forest degradation are increasingly known to consumers and investors, thanks to public awareness campaigns. P&G has received negative attention from more than 100 nongovernmental organizations for its sourcing practices in the Canadian boreal. P&G’s 2020 climate commitment also received significant negative attention for relying on offsets to meet its goals, rather than minimizing upstream impact. Events that impact a company’s reputation may affect a company’s value by as much as 30%.
“P&G policies neither set the company up to be a sustainability leader nor fully mitigate the Company’s exposure to forest-related risks,” said Green Century Shareholder Advocate Jessye Waxman. “P&G needs to set goals that comprehensively mitigate material operational and reputational risks.”
About Green Century Capital Management
°Green Century Capital Management (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century 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 June 30, 2020, Procter & Gamble comprised 0.70%, 2.11%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century 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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The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 9/20