Tyson Foods’* New Deforestation Policy Is Substandard
Press Release Contact: Kyle W. Kempf, Green Century Capital Management, email@example.com, (617) 482-0800
Boston, November 12, 2020 – Today, Tyson Foods, Inc. (Tyson) revealed its new Forest Protection Standard. It fails to meet investors’ expectations or best practices.
“Tyson’s Forest Protection Standard is inadequate and disappointing,” said Green Century° Shareholder Advocate Jessye Waxman. “We hoped the company would embrace this opportunity to live up to its purported goal to be the ‘world’s best, most sustainable protein supplier, bar none,’ but this policy does not position Tyson as a sustainability leader or adequately address deforestation risks in its supply chain.”
In February, Green Century withdrew a shareholder proposal, urging Tyson to undertake an analysis of its supply chains and to adopt policies that eliminate the company’s exposure to deforestation, after the company publicly revealed its commitment and existing plans to develop and implement a no-deforestation policy.
Tyson’s new Forest Protection Standard fails to eliminate the company’s exposure to deforestation.
For example, only 35% of the palm oil Tyson currently sources is certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the gold standard for responsibly produced palm oil, but Tyson’s new forest policy does not set goals for achieving full certification, in contrast to most other companies that have adopted policies on deforestation.
Tyson also asserts its partial reliance on Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification for its packaging procurement mitigates its deforestation risks, but last month, investors overwhelmingly supported a shareholder resolution at Procter & Gamble* that highlighted SFI as a subpar certification standard.
The timelines outlined in Tyson’s Forest Protection Standard also are of concern. To be effective, deforestation policies must be expediently implemented. Tyson suppliers are provided with up to a decade to meet its sourcing requirements. Such a protracted timeline does little to meaningfully mitigate risk in Tyson’s supply chain or to alleviate investor concerns about how this risk is being comprehensively addressed.
Green Century filed the resolution with Tyson Foods as the company is expanding its operations in international markets, including Brazil, China, and Southeast Asia, which have greater operation and supply chain exposure to deforestation-related risks.
The rearing of cattle and the production of soy, which is predominantly used as feed for poultry and livestock, are leading drivers of tropical deforestation. Deforestation is responsible for approximately 10% of global anthropogenic emissions, in addition to being a leading cause of biodiversity loss.
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, 2020, Procter & Gamble comprised 0.75%, 2.26%, 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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