Shareholder Resolutions

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Company: Sherwin Williams
Subject: Lead Paint
Year: 2015
Sector: Chemical Production
Lead Filer: CHE Trinity Health
Cofiler(s): Everence; Friends Fiduciary
Outcome: Withdrawn in response to corporate commitments

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 study published in the journal Lancet in December 2012 reported that lead accounts for 674,000 deaths each year, primarily due to its contribution to cardiovascular disease;

Whereas, a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives 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 in 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, the Superior Court of California has held Sherwin Williams and other defendants responsible for the abatement of the public nuisance caused by the historical use of lead in paint and pigments in homes built before 1978;

Whereas, in 2014 the Circuit Court in the State of Wisconsin has ruled that cases against Sherwin Williams and other defendants who manufactured and sold white lead carbonate can go forward under the risk contribution doctrine;

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 Sherwin Williams 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 Sherwin Williams, and plans for the treatment and/or disposal of lead paint or lead-containing ingredients in its inventory.