Apple, Google and other large tech manufacturers have responded quickly to shareholder proposals on the “right to repair” movement. The right to repair initiative pushes tech giants to make their devices easier to repair through increased access to tools, parts, and instructions. The ultimate goal is to have less of their products wasted, which equals greater environmental responsibility.
Google announced in April that it will begin selling genuine Pixel phone parts to consumers with free repair instructions. Apple also launched its long-awaited Self-Service Repair program. Microsoft and Samsung have also made similar announcements following shareholder proposals.
Improving access to repair essentials helps companies like Alphabet and Apple mitigate risk. Environmentally, this is accomplished by keeping devices in use for longer periods of time and reducing toxic electronic waste and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacturing process. Socially, this builds the brand by fulfilling consumer expectations for more repair options and prepares for potential regulatory requirements in light of the Federal Trade Commission’s recent statements on this issue.
What we like about this story is what came before it. Mutual fund companies we use for clients and our shareholder advocacy partner As You Sow have pushed this initiative in recent shareholder proposals. Companies are listening to the proposals and addressing them with action, which is exactly the full-circle response we want to see.
We hope you find this on-the-ground Shareholder Impact story interesting and insightful. As always, feel free to pass these articles to others or share your comments with us!
Blue Summit does not directly engage with companies listed above. Many, but not all clients, are invested in funds that perform this advocacy.