The resolution follows the 2021 version which received the support of more than a third of shareholders. The Oceana campaign, featuring ocean animals, is asking AMZN investors, executives and employees to “please make less plastic”.
WASHINGTON, May 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On May 25, at Amazon’s annual meeting, shareholders will vote on a resolution that, if passed, would require the e-commerce giant to release a report outlining how the company could reduce its plastic packaging use and contribution to plastic pollution. The report would also quantify the amount of plastic packaging used by the company. 35.5% of Amazon shareholders backed a similar resolution last year. Oceana, the world’s largest ocean advocacy organization, is calling on shareholders to vote “yes” on item 8. The resolution was filed by the group As You Sow.
According to a 2021 Oceana report, Amazon – the world’s largest retailer outside of China – generated 599 million pounds of plastic packaging waste in 2020, a 29% increase from the Oceana’s estimate for 2019, referenced in the shareholder proposal. Studies have estimated that across species, 55% of seabirds, 70% of marine mammals and 100% of sea turtles have ingested or become entangled in plastic and found that plastic wrap, the type of plastic used by Amazon, is one. of the deadliest forms of plastic to marine life. Additionally, plastic film is extremely difficult to recycle and is not accepted in most curbside recycling programs in the US, UK and other major markets for the company.
Amazon, which is asking shareholders to vote against the proposal (and disputes Oceana’s estimates) does not currently report its plastic footprint and has not responded to multiple requests from Oceana to share its data. Additionally, the company has not committed to meeting specific reduction targets for its overall use of plastic packaging. Without this information, investors cannot assess their exposure to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks on the very important global problem of plastic pollution. This resolution reflects growing concern about the company’s plastic footprint, increased regulatory and ESG pressure for plastic pollution, and the growing need to formally address the plastic pollution crisis.
Oceana Senior Vice President Matt Littlejohn said, “This is a great opportunity for shareholders to ensure Amazon respects its customers and the planet. The pressure is mounting as more investors learn about the company’s plastic problem and more customers demand plastic-free alternatives. Amazon’s plastic packaging generates a massive amount of waste and plastic pollution is devastating the world’s oceans. To vote in favor of this resolution is to vote to help save the oceans and marine life.
Ahead of this year’s meeting, Oceana sent a letter to Amazon shareholders outlining five reasons to support the resolution. Additionally, Oceana is campaigning on the ground at Amazon Headquarters 1 and 2 in Seattle and Arlington, Va., to gain support for the resolution (from Amazon headquarters employees who are also shareholders). The campaign features photos of marine animals eating or being covered in ocean plastic with the headline “AMZN: Less Plastic, Please”. This effort includes canvassers, mobile billboards, 1,000 meter boards and 500 posters (as well as a LinkedIn campaign). Oceana has created a website dedicated to the effort: www.amazoniansfortheoceans.com.
Oceana is also rallying support for the resolution from signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Many institutional investors holding Amazon stock are members of the PRI and have committed to requesting information on ESG issues from the companies in which they invest. Oceana calls on these investors to honor their commitment to the PRI and vote in favor of the resolution, which would call for such disclosure on plastic pollution – an extremely important ESG issue.
“Amazon is a data-driven company known for its innovation and set to become a leader in reducing plastic packaging (and helping save the oceans). It’s time for the company to be transparent about its data and commit to reducing the use of single-use plastic,” added Littlejohn.
Click here for images from Oceana’s “Amzn: Less Plastic, Please” campaign in support of the resolution
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant, biodiverse oceans by getting science-based policies in countries that control a third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that have ended overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the slaughter of endangered species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means one billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together we can save the oceans and help feed the world. To visit www.oceana.org to learn more.
Contact: Anna Baxter: [email protected]