WHEREAS: Investors increasingly seek disclosure of companies’ social and environmental practices in the belief that they affect shareholder value. Many investors believe companies that are good employers, environmental stewards, and corporate citizens are more likely to generate stronger financial returns, better respond to emerging issues, and enjoy long-term business success.
Mainstream financial companies are also increasingly recognizing the links between sustainability performance and shareholder value. According to research consultant Innovest, major investment firms including ABN-AMRO, Schroders, T. Rowe Price, and Legg Mason subscribe to information on companies’ social and environmental practices to help make investment decisions.
Globally over 2,300 companies issued reports on sustainability issues in 2006 (www.corporateregister.com). An earlier study found more than half of the global Fortune 250 issue such reports (KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2005). Currently, many leading companies in the electronics industry produce sustainability reports in which they disclose information about resource use; energy and water use; quantitative performance measures relevant to human health and environmental effects of their products; as well as information about corporate sustainability policies and programs. These companies, such as Texas Instruments and Intel, carefully track and disclose information about their carbon footprint and climate change strategies. According to the 2008 Carbon Disclosure Report, 42% of companies in the information technology sector reported that they have taken or planned action to manage the general, regulatory or physical risks of climate change; 30% reported that they had a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan in place; and 24% have developed emissions intensity targets.
Leading companies also report on their efforts to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in products, an issue that has garnered the attention of consumers and regulators in recent years as evidenced by widespread attention to lead in toys, bibs and lipstick; bisphenol-A in polycarbonate baby bottles; and phthalates and other chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products.
Polyvinyl chloride is one type of plastic that can be used in packaging and products. Companies around the world are making public commitments to reduce or eliminate PVC in packaging and products due to its harmful heath effects and difficulty to recycle. We believe it is imperative that Sandisk disclose publicly its goals to reduce the use of PVC plastics in products and packaging.
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors prepare a public report describing broad corporate sustainability strategies and performance. The report, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, should be published by October 2009.
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: The report should include the company’s definition of sustainability and a company-wide review of company policies, practices, and metrics related to long-term social and environmental sustainability and a summary of the company’s long-term plans to integrate sustainability objectives through company operations.