Submitted by: Investor Environmental Health Network
Posted: May 22, 2007 – 11:59 PM EST
May 22 /CSRwire/ - PAWTUCKET, RI- May 22, 2007- A shareholder resolution at the upcoming annual meeting of Hasbro (HAS) on May 24 encourages the company to reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals in the products it sells.
The $105 billion New York City Retirement Systems announced today that they will support the resolution at Hasbro. New York City pension funds board member and New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., serves as investment advisor to the pension funds stated, "Shareholders need to know whether the companies they own are implementing environmental practices that will allow them to prosper in a climate of growing government regulation and environmentally preferable purchasing, or whether they are risking damage to our health, environment, and the company's bottom line." Further reflecting growing scientific, government, and consumer concern, New York City is one of many localities enacting restrictions on toxic chemicals in products, having recently passed legislation reducing the city’s purchase of products containing PVC, lead, mercury, toxic flame retardants, and other toxic chemicals.
The resolution at Hasbro, filed by the Camilla Madden Trust, asks Hasbro to produce a sustainability report and highlights concerns about Hasbro toys manufactured from and packaged in polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
The filers at Hasbro noted in a recent letter to shareholders filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Wal-Mart, after reaching a voluntary agreement with the attorneys-general of New York and Illinois on a recall of PVC baby bibs laced with lead, has committed to support a voluntary industry standard to eliminate PVC from all products intended for use by children. Wal-Mart is Hasbro’s largest customer, representing 24% of Hasbro’s consolidated net revenues in 2006. Toy manufacturers such as Brio, Chicco, Evenflo, Gerber, International Playthings, Sassy and Tiny Love have either phased out PVC or committed to phase outs. Margaret Weber, Coordinator of Corporate Responsibility for the Adrian Dominican Sisters in Adrian, Michigan, commented, "PVC phase-outs and commitments from Wal-Mart and other toy manufacturers signal that Hasbro lags its competitors and potentially faces a toxic lockout from the marketplace; the company should evaluate whether its commitment to PVC is sustainable."
The resolution at Hasbro is one of thirteen resolutions addressing toxic chemicals in products introduced this proxy season, according to The Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN). IEHN is a collaborative partnership of investment managers, advised by nongovernmental organizations, concerned about the market and health risks associated with corporate policies and practices regarding the use of toxic chemicals in products. IEHN participants manage more than $22 billion in assets. In April 2007, IEHN published "Fiduciary Guide to Toxic Chemical Risk", which provides investors with a toolkit for examining the potential toxic liabilities in their portfolios. According to Richard Liroff, IEHN"s Executive Director, "Investors have successfully resolved these issues at many companies this year, as reflected in their withdrawal of resolutions filed at Sears Holdings, CVS, Mohawk Industries, and Apple."
For further information, visit the IEHN website at www.iehn.org, and view the 20 minute IEHN video, "Toxic Chemicals in Products: Financial Risks and Opportunities", available on-line at http://video.investorenvironmentalhealthnetwork.org