Domini has addressed the issue of toxins in consumer products for years, through our Global Investment Standards and our direct engagement with companies. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used in the lining of aluminum cans, where it can leach into foods and beverages. Canada has banned the use of BPA in baby bottles, and a recent report by the President’s Cancer Panel noted a “growing link between BPA and several diseases, including various cancers.”
In 2012, for the third consecutive year, Domini filed a shareholder proposal addressing Coca-Cola ’s use of BPA in the linings of its beverage cans. Our first proposal in 2010, which received a strong 22 percent vote, was the first shareholder proposal ever filed to focus on BPA.
Coca-Cola recently published a report on BPA, defending its safety and explaining that it is seeking alternatives. The company then sought permission from the SEC to exclude our proposal from its proxy materials. Although we disagreed with the company, and vigorously defended our proposal at the SEC, the company’s request was ultimately granted. Despite this setback, however, Coca-Cola has always been a company that is open to constructive dialogue. We would like to see the company actively pursue safer alternatives, and although we have not been satisfied to date, we look forward to continuing our discussions.