Trillium and Sustainability Group File Pesticide Management Shareholder Proposal with PepsiCo
Shareholders are concerned with decline in pollinators and risks to our food system
DECEMBER 2, 2015 // BOSTON, MA: Shareholders, in collaboration with the Investor Environmental Health Network, who are concerned with the systemic risks of pesticide pollution and the decline in pollinators, have filed a shareholder proposal with PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP). The proposal asks the Company to publish a report that discusses options for policies to minimize impacts of pesticides in its supply chain.
PepsiCo (“Pepsi” or “the Company”) is a major purchaser of corn, oats and potatoes — crop types that are routinely pre-treated with neonicotinoids (‘neonics’), a class of insecticide linked to declines in pollinators and other beneficial organisms, and negative impacts to land and water.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “bee-pollinated commodities account for $20 billion in annual United States agricultural production and $217 billion worldwide.” Multi-year double digit declines in pollinators in the United States and Europe pose risks to our food system.
“Pepsi states that it supports sustainable agriculture and tries to avoid negative impacts to farmland” said Susan Baker, Vice President, Shareholder Advocacy for Trillium Asset Management which filed the proposal with the Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge and Green Century Capital Management. “Measuring the environmental and local economic impacts associated with its agricultural supply chain – specifically with regard to pesticide use – would be concrete evidence of that commitment.”
“We commend Pepsi for its commitment to sustainable agricultural practices. However, because the Company has no disclosure on this issue, investors are unable to assess the risks neonics pose to Pepsi’s sustainability goals, or overall supply chain,” said Larisa Ruoff, Director of Shareholder Advocacy and Corporate Engagement at the Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge.
In 2011, 3.5 million pounds of neonics were applied to agricultural crops, a twofold increase in five years. Neonics account for roughly 25 percent of the global agrochemical market and are one of the most widely used insecticides. As their use has increased, so has scientific, regulatory and public concern. In December 2013, the European Union enacted a two year ban on three neonics. In June 2014, President Obama established a “Pollinator Health Task Force” charged with “understanding, preventing and recovering from pollinator losses.” In July 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans to restrict neonic use across the National Wildlife Refuge System.
For more information: Randy Rice, Trillium Asset Management, firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 515-6889
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