Google joins Right to Repair movement with its announcement
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Boston, April 12, 2022 — Green Century is withdrawing a shareholder proposal with Google parent Alphabet as the company announced on Friday that it will begin selling genuine Pixel phone parts to independent repair shops and consumers. Green Century’s proposal urged Alphabet to make repairing its products more accessible to consumers and independent repair shops.
“We’re glad to see Google join the Right to Repair movement and catch up with its industry peers by announcing this new initiative,” said Green Century Capital Management President Leslie Samuelrich. “Today’s announcement underscores consumer demand for repair options, the wave of change in the tech industry around product repair, and the power of shareholders.”
The replacement parts will be available for sale through iFixit, an online repair guide provider and Right to Repair advocate, and will cover models from the Pixel 2 through the Pixel 6 Pro, as well as future models. The announcement is a striking reversal for the company, which has long lobbied against Right to Repair reforms and employed policies that make repairing its products difficult.
“Access to spare parts is a critical component of Right to Repair,” Samuelrich said. “It helps companies like Alphabet mitigate risk by keeping electronic waste from smartphones out of the landfill, fulfilling consumer expectations for more repair options, and preparing for potential regulatory requirements at both the state and federal level, especially in light of the Federal Trade Commission’s recent statements on this issue.”
Alphabet’s announcement comes in the wake of similar ones made in the last year by Apple,* Microsoft,* and Samsung,* which have all committed to increasing repair accessibility for the devices they sell. Apple’s announcement was similarly prompted by a Green Century shareholder proposal.
Making replacement parts more widely available is key to the Right to Repair and provides numerous environmental benefits by keeping devices in use for longer periods of time, such as reducing toxic electronic waste and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacturing process.
“This is a positive development, and we encourage the company to expand its spare part offerings to all of its devices, including for its Nest Thermostats, and making a formal commitment to stop lobbying against Right to Repair reforms,” Samuelrich said.
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 December 31, 2021, Alphabet, Inc. comprised 4.32%, 7.83%, and 0.00%; Apple, Inc. comprised 5.56%, 0.00%, and 0.00%; Microsoft comprised 4.07%, 11.01%, 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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