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Home Depot Issues New Sustainable Forestry Report in Response to Green Century Shareholder Proposal

Media Contacts:

Annie Sanders, Director of Shareholder Advocacy, asanders@greencentury.com, 773-272-6691

Pam Podger, Communications Director, ppodger@greencentury.com, 802-299-9495

 

Boston, February 5, 2024 – The Home Depot*, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, issued a new sustainable forestry report nearly two years after a related shareholder proposal from Green Century°, an environmentally responsible mutual fund based in Boston. The proposal, which received 64% of the shareholder vote in May 2022, asked the company to assess how it could increase the scale, pace and rigor of its efforts to eliminate deforestation and forest degradation from its supply chains.

The report covers an in-depth assessment of the company’s wood sourcing policies and announces a set of strengthened standards that will protect high-risk regions such as the Cerrado in Brazil, the world’s most biodiverse savanna and home to 5% of the planet’s animals and plants. The report also asserts that the wood Home Depot sources from Canada is sustainable, sidestepping concerns that the company’s sourcing policies from the region contribute to degradation of the Canadian boreal forest.

“We applaud Home Depot’s new commitments that will protect more tropical ecosystems and the rich biodiversity our planet needs to thrive,” said Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century Funds. “However, we believe the company’s Canadian sourcing policies fall short of the standards needed to protect the boreal forest, home to critical wildlife habitat for species such as grizzly bears and caribou.”

In the report, Home Depot announced an expansion of its approach to sustainable sourcing such that by the end of fiscal year 2026, wood products sourced to the U.S. and Canada from an additional set of high-risk regions will be required to bear third-party certification or be plantation-grown. The new policy covers a majority of Home Depot’s overall wood sourcing and includes regions such as the Cerrado, Gran Chaco, and Atlantic Forest biomes in South America.

“Home Depot’s new sustainable wood sourcing policies are a welcome step in the right direction,” said Annie Sanders, director of shareholder advocacy at Green Century. “We congratulate the company for establishing new protections in tropical ecosystems and urge additional steps to more fully protect primary forests in the Canadian boreal.”

The North American boreal forest is the largest intact ecosystem left on the planet. Disturbances from logging in the boreal forest have endangered more than half of the iconic woodland caribou herds. Unfortunately, a new study shows that logging in Canada’s boreal forest is causing severe damage, harming wildlife and compromising the forest’s ability to absorb and store carbon, which is critical for fighting climate change.

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About Green Century

°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 mutual funds. Green Century 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 12.31.2023, The Home Depot comprised 1.03%, 1.63%, and 0.00%, of 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.

You should carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. To obtain a Prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds please visit www.greencentury.com, email info@greencentury.com, or call 1-800-934-7336. Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.

Stocks will fluctuate in response to factors that may affect a single company, industry, sector, country, region or the market as a whole and may perform worse than the market. Foreign securities are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, regional economic and political conditions, differences in accounting methods, and other unique risks compared to investing in securities of U.S. issuers. Bonds are subject to a variety of risks including interest rate, credit, and inflation risk.

This information has been prepared from sources believed reliable. The views expressed are as the date of this writing and are those of the Advisor to the Funds.

The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. February/2024