Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Shareholders Calling for Sustainability at Kraft Heinz Co

Kraft Heinz shareholders have drawn up a few sustainability motions ahead of a forthcoming shareholders meeting. Kraft Heinz is the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world. The two companies have engaged in a range of sustainability measures.

In 2012 Heinz began to get serious about responsible forest management. As revealed in the 2013 fourth annual Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD) Report, Heinz started disclosing their forest footprints. Also in 2012 Kraft adopted Scope 3 accounting protocols.

"Our work with the GHG Protocol was instrumental in guiding our first efforts towards environmental footprinting. In 2010 Kraft Foods participated in the GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard ‘road test’. Our Scope 3 inventory results are the backbone that informed our future footprint work. For GHG Protocol, the feedback from Kraft Foods informed the final Scope 3 standard WRI will be launching around the world this October," said Dan Pettit, Associate Director of Sustainability for Research Development & Quality at Kraft Foods said in 2012

The merger between Kraft and Heinz was formally announced in July, 2015. In February 2017 the company launched an unsuccessful bid to buy Unilever, one of the world's most sustainability-focused corporate brands.

Investors at Kraft Heinz are paying heed to the business case for sustainability both to mitigate against risk and increase returns. Powerful drivers are moving sustainability forward. Shareholders are increasingly understanding that sustainability is a mainstream phenomenon and they are advancing resolutions to secure the value of their investments.

According to a proxy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Kraft Heinz investors have advanced three sustainability focused proposals for the forthcoming shareholders meeting scheduled to take place in Pittsburgh in mid-April in Pittsburgh.

The three proposals are as follows:

1. Issue a comprehensive sustainability report addressing its environmental, social and governance performance and goals.

2. Address non-recyclable packaging (ie laminate pouches that can’t be recycled).

3. Issue a report on supply chain impacts on deforestation including palm oil.

Kraft Heinz is recommending that shareholders turn down the requests explaining that it already intends to begin producing global corporate social responsibility reports in the second half of 2017. The company says that it is already committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water and waste by 15 percent by 2020; working to create consistent recycling instructions on some product packaging, and implementing a global animal welfare policy.

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