PPG Industries – Lead Paint (2015)
Outcome: Omitted by the SEC on February 26, 2015
Reducing Health Hazards and Liability from Manufacturing Paint Containing Lead
Whereas, the neurotoxic and developmental impacts of lead have been well established for decades, leading to global action to eliminate lead in gasoline;
Whereas, a Gates Foundation-sponsored study reported that lead accounts for 674,000 deaths each year, primarily due to its contribution to cardiovascular disease;
Whereas, a study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives Journal in September 2013 estimated that lead exposures are costing low and middle-income countries more than $977 billion annually in lost lifetime economic productivity;
Whereas, in 2009 the United Nations’ International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) unanimously passed a resolution calling for the global elimination of lead in paint;
Whereas, lead paint for residential applications in the U.S. has been banned since 1978 and industrial applications in the domestic market have subsequently died out due to public and private sector specifications prohibiting the use of lead additives in coatings;
Whereas, it was reported in 2012 that PPG Industries had been producing and distributing paint containing lead compounds for residential applications in Africa http://www.post-gazette.com/news/world/2012/02/06/PPG-refuses-to-recall-leaded-paint-in-Cameroon/stories/201202060268 ;
Whereas, in 2011 AkzoNobel, the world’s largest paint company, removed the last lead compounds from use in its global product portfolio;
Whereas, proponents believe that the continued use of lead compounds in our company’s manufacturing and distribution channels can pose reputational and legal risks to our company; and
Whereas, proponents believe it is in our company’s interest to establish a policy and eliminate the use of all lead compounds in its products.
Therefore be it resolved:
Shareholders request the Board of Directors report to shareholders, by December 31, 2015, on options for policies and practices PPG can adopt to reduce occupational and community health hazards by eliminating the use of lead in paint and coatings by a specified date. Such a report would be prepared at reasonable cost and omit confidential information such as proprietary or legally prejudicial data.
Supporting Statement: Proponents believe that a report should address such questions as the phase out period and time frame for eliminating the use of lead compounds in its paint and coatings by a specified date, future steps to ensure that no lead-containing compounds will be purchased by PPG, and plans for the treatment and/or disposal of lead paint or lead-containing ingredients in its inventory.