SAN FRANCISCO — The shareholder advocacy group As You Sow will file shareholder resolutions this week with consumer packaged goods companies Procter & Gamble and General Mills, asking them to adopt "Extended Producer Responsibility" (EPR) programs aimed at the elimination of post-consumer waste.
The proposals are the first to be filed by the companies' shareholders on this issue and will ask the companies to take a first step toward this goal by collecting and recycling product packaging (plastic, glass, metals, paper) in their U.S. operations.
The P&G and General Mills proposals ask the companies to report to shareholders on how taking responsibility for post-consumer product packaging can reduce carbon emissions as well as air and water pollution and lead to re-evaluating the way they design, use and re-use the resources and materials that go into their packaging.
The shareholder proposals to General Mills and P&G were co-filed by Green Century Equity Fund and Walden Asset Management; the proposal to P&G was also co-filed by Trillium Asset Management on behalf of New England Biolabs Foundation. Also, Nelson Capital Management is actively engaged in the dialogue with General Mills.
"We're burning and landfilling 40 million tons of recyclable packaging materials estimated to be worth $15 to $23 billion every year." said Conrad MacKerron, As You Sow's senior director for corporate responsibility. "We can no longer afford to discard packaging containing valuable resources. As shareholders we see this as throwing away revenue and we need to stop it immediately."
These new proposals follow As You Sow's similar efforts with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestle Waters North America.