We wanted to share an update from Green Century’s progressive work with deforestation. Green Century is the only mutual fund company in the world that is owned by environmental non-profits. Blue Summit uses Green Century Funds in our model portfolios.
At Home Depot’s annual meeting in May, the company announced that a majority of shareholders approved a Green Century proposal aimed at increasing its efforts to eliminate deforestation and the degradation of primary forests in its supply chains.
Home Depot is lagging behind its peers in ensuring that it is not purchasing wood associated with deforestation. Lowe’s, the Home Depot’s largest competitor, agreed to comply with the proposal’s request by disclosing the impact of its sourcing on primary forests and developing a strategy to mitigate potential negative climate, biodiversity and human rights outcomes associated with its wood sourcing.
In response, Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich issued the following statement:
“It’s a good day for the world’s forests, from Canada’s boreal to the tropical rainforests of South America, and for the species that depend on them. We are pleased that most Home Depot’s shareholders have called on the company to accelerate action to end deforestation and the clear-cutting of old growth trees in its supply chains.
“Destroying ecosystems for a new set of kitchen cabinets is not the bargain that we believe that Home Depot’s customers want. Customers may now be unknowingly purchasing wood logged from endangered forests. The company can change this and use its market power for good.
“We look forward to working with Home Depot to implement our proposal. These issues require urgent action: The world’s forests, the species that rely upon them, and our climate cannot wait.”
While global deforestation continues to unfold, investor support for deforestation-related shareholder proposals has increased dramatically in recent years, including recent successes at paper giant Procter and Gamble.
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.