Shareholder Proposal Urges J.M. Smucker Company to Take Action on Renewable Energy
ORRVILLE, OH // AUGUST 5, 2015: Next Wednesday, August 12, 2015, shareholders of the J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE: SJM) will vote on a proposal asking the company to issue a report on how it can increase renewable energy sourcing and production. In a letter sent to shareholders, investment firm Trillium Asset Management (Trillium) outlined the rationale behind the proposal, and asked for a “Yes” vote (on Proposal #5 on the company’s proxy card) based on four premises:
• Opportunities – Increased renewable energy sourcing can lead to cost savings, improve the company’s license to operate, and enhance U.S. energy security.
• Risk management – Investing in renewable energy may reduce Smucker’s exposure to volatile energy prices and reduce reputational risk.
• The company’s opposition statement is non-responsive and it fails to disclose the company’s evaluation of renewable energy.
• The company may be lagging behind peers who are already successfully using renewable energy.
“Many companies, including some of Smucker’s competitors such as Mars, are finding that an investment in renewable energy can go a long way in providing cost-savings and financial stability,” said Brianna Murphy, vice president of shareholder advocacy at Trillium Asset Management. “By failing to examine renewable energy opportunities, we believe the company may be leaving money and value on the table.”
Trillium — who is lead filer on the proposal along with co-filers Calvert Investments, Clean Yield Asset Management, and Green Century Capital Management — has sent a letter to shareholders that states that the renewable energy market is “ripe with opportunities and poised for continued growth.” Additionally, the letter argues that by neglecting to develop a proactive renewable energy strategy, Smucker risks falling behind other companies in the sector that already have renewable energy strategies in place. For example, fellow Ohio company Campbell’s Soup has committed to source 40 percent of electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020 and pet food segment competitor Mars Company is on track to meet 100 percent of its energy needs with renewable sources by 2020.
To read the full text of the letter, click here.
Dylan Gasperik, Tigercomm, 323-804-2768, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brianna Murphy, Trillium Asset Management, 617-532-6662, email@example.com
Trillium Asset Management, LLC is the oldest independent investment advisor devoted exclusively to sustainable and responsible investing. With over $2 billion in assets under management, Trillium has been managing equity and fixed income investments for high net worth individuals, foundations, endowments, religious institutions, and other nonprofits since 1982. A leader in shareholder advocacy and public policy work, Trillium’s goal is to deliver both impact and performance to its investors.
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