Boston, November 19, 2021 – On the same day that Green Century Capital Management° had to make a decision on whether to press forward on a right-to-repair shareholder proposal, Apple introduced a new program on Wednesday that will provide individual consumers access to replacement parts, tools and repair manuals needed to perform common repairs to its products. The program will launch early next year in the United States with the iPhone 12 and 13 lineups. They will then follow with Mac computers with M1 chips.
Following the announcement, Green Century is withdrawing its shareholder proposal that urged the company to improve its product repair policies.
Apple has historically resisted allowing consumers and independent repair shops to perform repairs and has vigorously lobbied against legislation that would require them to allow others to fix their products. As a result, the announcement is a notable reversal for the company.
The company had filed a no-action request with the Securities and Exchange Commission in October with the goal of blocking Green Century’s repair-focused proposal from being voted on by Apple shareholders. After the SEC released new guidance earlier this month that allows investors to file stronger shareholder proposals, the chance of Apple succeeding in blocking Green Century’s proposal decreased significantly.
Over the last year, state governments, Congress, and the Federal Trade Commission have all taken note of the restrictive nature of many technology companies’ policies on repair. Increased access to repair is also seen as an essential component to making the electronics industry more sustainable. Since the majority of the greenhouse gas emissions from a single device are created during the production process, repairing devices to keep them in use longer can have a significant climate benefit and prevent waste.
Annalisa Tarizzo, Green Century Capital Management shareholder advocate, released the following statement:
“This is an unexpected but welcome step from Apple. It’s also a significant reversal from the position the company had taken when we filed our shareholder resolution. The timing of the announcement is certainly no coincidence, given that today was our deadline for responding to the company’s no-action request.
“We’re hopeful that this announcement signals the beginning of the end to Apple’s unwarranted opposition to expanding repair access for consumers. By making this important change, it will help the company mitigate the regulatory risk it was facing from Congress and the FTC.”
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, Apple Inc. comprised 3.01%, 0.00%, 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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