Yum! Brands – Prepare a Sustainability Report to Shareholders (2003 – 2004)
Whereas the global economy presents corporations with the challenge of creating sustainable business relationships by participating in the sustainable development of communities in which they operate. The World Commission on Environment and Development defined sustainable development as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Our Common Future, 1987)
We believe the ability of corporations to continue to provide goods/services in our interdependent world depends on their acceptability to the societies where they do business. Good corporate citizenship goes beyond the traditional functions of creating jobs and paying taxes, to include corporate practices designed to protect human rights, worker rights, land and the environment.
According to Dow Jones Sustainability Group, sustainability includes:
“Encouraging long lasting social well being in communities where they operate, interacting with different stakeholders (e.g. clients, suppliers, employees, government, local communities and non-governmental organizations) and responding to their specific and evolving needs thereby securing a long term ‘license to operate,’ superior customer and employee loyalty and ultimately superior financial returns.” (www.sustainability-index.com; March 2000)
Footwear and apparel companies accept their responsibility for working conditions and wages throughout their supply chain. The food service industry must accept its responsibility for sustainability throughout its supply chain, including the agricultural workers who pick the many products that are part of the food sold. Just as these workers through their labor, contribute to the sustainability of the company, so must YUM Brands accept its responsibility for the working conditions, wages and benefits of these workers. These workers then contribute to the sustainability of their home communities from which they come and where their families live.
Concerned investors evaluate companies on their financial, environmental and social performance — the triple bottom line. Some companies have published sustainability reports and are taking a long-term approach to creating shareholder value through embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental and social developments. We believe sustainability reporting should be included in our company’s annual report.
We believe corporate sustainability includes a commitment to pay a sustainable living wage to employees as a means to empowering sustainable economies. Workers need to have the purchasing power to meet their basic needs. We believe paying sustainable wages contributes to community development and employee loyalty to the company.
The sustainability of corporations, we believe, is connected to the economic sustainability of their workers and the communities where corporations operate and sell products. Effective corporate policies can benefit both communities and corporations.
Resolved: Shareholders request the Board of Directors to prepare at reasonable expense a sustainability report. A summary of the report should be provided to shareholders by October 2004.
We believe the report should include:1. Yum Brand’s operating definition of sustainability.2. A review of current Yum Brand policies and practices related to social, environmental and economic sustainability throughout the supply chain. 3. A summary of long-term plans to integrate sustainability objectives throughout company operations.