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Company: Sears Holdings
Subject: Sustainability Report, PVC
Year: 2007
Sector: Retail Multi-Line
Lead Filer: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Pension Board
Outcome: Withdrawn for dialogue; company issued PVC phaseout policy

Whereas:

  • The global economy challenges corporations to create sustainable business relationships by participating in the sustainable development of communities in which they operate. 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. Corporate citizenship goes beyond 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 Indexes, "Sustainability leaders encourage long lasting social well being in communities where they operate, engage in an active dialog with different stakeholders and respond to their specific and evolving needs thereby securing a long term 'license to operate,' as well as superior customer and employee loyalty." (http://www.sustainability-indexes.com; December 2004)
  • The 2004 statement published by social research analysts reported that they value public reporting because “we find compelling the large and growing body of evidence linking companies’ strong performance addressing social and environmental issues to strong performance in creating long-term shareholder value…We believe that companies can more effectively communicate their perspectives and report performance on complex social and environmental issues through a comprehensive report than through press releases and other ad hoc communications.” (www.socialinvest.org)
  • Sustainability issues can include for instance, a corporation’s choices regarding materials, its consumption of energy, its impact on human rights, its impact on disposal and recycling, and its role in the economy of local communities.
  • Concerned investors evaluate companies on their financial, environmental and social performance. A growing number of 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. “At Ford Motor Company we have made sustainability a long-term strategic business priority…Sustainability is about ensuring that our business is innovative, competitive and profitable in a world that is facing major environmental and social changes.” (William Clay Ford, October 2005, www.ford.com/go/sustainability)

RESOLVED: that shareholders request the Board of Directors to publish at reasonable expense and omitting proprietary information, a Sustainability Report.

A summary of the report should be provided to shareholders by December 2007.

Supporting Statement
We believe the report should include:

  1. The company's operating definition of sustainability.
  2. A review of current company policies and practices related to social, environmental and economic sustainability.
  3. A summary of long-term plans to integrate sustainability objectives throughout company operations.

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