Boston, January 18, 2023 – Lowe’s Home Improvement*, the second-largest home improvement company in the United States, has issued a set of new industry-leading wood sourcing commitments that will protect forests around the world. The new policies resulted from a report, prompted by engagement with the Green Century Funds°, that assessed how Lowe’s could increase the scale, pace and rigor of its efforts to eliminate wood linked to deforestation and degradation of primary forests from its supply chains.
“Lowe’s has taken important steps toward protecting the forests it depends on for its business and the world depends on for a livable planet,” said Leslie Samuelrich, president of the Green Century Funds. “Companies that buy and sell wood products must act now to address biodiversity and climate risks, and Lowe’s’ new commitments represent important steps in that effort.”
Lowe’s commitments will protect endangered wildlife
The company’s commitments entail a requirement that all its Canadian wood products be sourced from third-party certified forests by 2027. This is significant because the Canadian boreal contains 25% of the world’s intact forests as well as endangered boreal caribou and billions of migratory songbirds. Lowe’s also says it will “show preference” for wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which provides the most prescriptive and extensive environmental protection for forests.
“We congratulate Lowe’s on far outpacing other large-scale home improvement retailers in the transparency and sustainability of their wood sourcing,” said Annie Sanders, director of shareholder advocacy at Green Century. “Lowe’s has made a set of laudable commitments in response to investors, and we look forward to seeing the company’s continued efforts to address the protection of primary forests, which are undisturbed by industry and essential to biodiversity and the fight against climate change.”
Other key commitments outlined by the company include:
- investment in reforestation projects in key sourcing regions to sequester carbon (trees capture carbon that would otherwise pollute the air) and help biodiversity
- implementation of a grievance mechanism to provide stakeholders impacted by Lowe’s value chain a clear channel for sharing their concerns
- a provision that encourages all vendors to engage in Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), which allows Indigenous communities to determine which third parties, if any, are able to log on their land.
About The Green Century Funds
°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 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 30th, 2022, Lowe’s Companies, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.76%, 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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