More than 94 per cent of Procter & Gamble shareholders voted against an extended producer responsibility resolution (EPR) at its annual shareholder meeting on October 9, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Eco-action group As You Sow proposed the shareholder resolution, which was backed by The Granary Foundation, owner of at least $2,000 in value of common stock of the company. As You Sow asked the company to be more proactive on developing EPR for future packaging policies.
At the meeting, the shareholders responded as follows:
“…The majority (greater than 70%) of the greenhouse gas emissions related to our products’ lifecycles comes from the consumer use phase. Raw materials and manufacturing represent 16%, while packaging only represents less than 2%. As a result of this analysis, we have focused our greenhouse gas efforts where we can provide the greatest benefits—reducing our own emissions and enabling consumers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through development of innovative products and education.”
As You Sow noted that in 2010 alone, Americans threw away $11.4 billion in recyclable materials, or 55 million tonnes of product packaging, including aluminum, glass, paper, plastic, and steel. Just 12 per cent of plastic, the group says, is reclaimed annually.
While As You Sow has engaged with Nestlé Waters, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, Kraft Foods, Safeway, Target, Kroger, Unilever, Walmart and Whole Foods, none have adopted EPR policies. However, Nestlé Waters and Coca-Cola have shown support.
The P&G resolution was co-filed by by Green Century Equity Fund and Trillium Asset Management. Walden Asset Management is also a partner in our ongoing dialogue with the company.