Domini Reaches Agreement with Nucor on Slavery in Brazil: The largest steel producer in the United States,Nucor, is also the largest buyer of Brazilian pig iron, a key ingredient in the manufacture of steel. In a 2006 cover story, Bloomberg Markets magazine opened a window into the small camps that produce the charcoal used to make pig iron, exposing a world of slavery, inhuman working conditions and illegal deforestation. After a three-year engagement, Nucor agreed to adopt a strong set of policies to address slavery in its Brazilian supply chain.
Toyota Motor Cuts Ties with Burmese Military Regime: While researching Toyota Motor, Domini analyst Shin Furuya discovered that Toyota Tsusho, the company’s major trading partner, was in partnership with the Burmese military regime to sell motorcycles, light trucks, and cars. This information was uncovered in Japanese, and was apparently unknown to both human rights activists and investors. After a three year dialogue with Domini and other investors, Toyota announced that its trading partner had ended its joint venture with the Burmese government.
Ending the Secrecy of Corporate Political Contributions: In 2010, Domini resubmitted shareholder proposals asking AT&T, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase to disclose their political contributions. We joined other investors in filing proposals with 3M, Best Buy, and Target, seeking a review of their political activity in order to highlight the potential financial risks when companies pay for election ads. All three companies contributed to Minnesota Forward, an organization that financed election advertisements in support of the election of Tom Emmer for Governor of Minnesota. Emmer’s opposition to gay marriage led to a consumer boycott of Target, a company with a particularly gay-friendly profile.
Protecting Consumers from Toxins in Products: Domini has addressed the issue of toxins in consumer products for years, through our Global Investment Standards and our direct engagement with companies. In 2010, Domini filed with Coca-Cola the first shareholder proposal ever to focus on bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in the lining of cans. A report by the President’s Cancer Panel noted a “growing link between BPA and several diseases, including various cancers.” Domini’s proposal received a strong 22% vote at the company’s annual meeting, in addition to substantial press coverage.