Sustainability Report Resolution
2010 - Sandisk Corporation
WHEREAS: Investors increasingly seek disclosure of companies' social and environmental practices in the belief that they impact 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.
The link between sustainability performance and shareholder value is gaining recognition. For example, investment firms like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Asset Management are increasingly incorporating corporate social and environmental practices into their investment decisions. Furthermore, the United Nations' Principles for Responsible Investment, a set of guidelines that can be adopted by institutional investors addressing environmental, social and corporate governance issues, has approximately 538 signatories representing $18 trillion assets under management as of May 2009.
Globally, over 2,600 companies issued reports on sustainability issues in 2007 (www.corporateregister.com). A recent survey found that 80% of the Global Fortune 250 companies now release corporate responsibility data, which is up from 64% in 2005 (KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2008).
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. PVC can contain toxic chemical stabilizers such as lead and phthalate plasticizers to soften vinyl products. In the last two years, major retailers have been obliged to remove from their shelves certain PVC products because of excess levels of lead found in these products. Some of these companies were sued under California's Proposition 65 law. 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. For example, in the last two years, retailers including Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and Kmart have publicly committed to reduce or eliminate PVC in packaging and products. Furthermore, most community recycling facilities in the United States do not accept PVC because it is not compatible with existing recycling streams.
We believe it is prudent, responsible and imperative that Sandisk disclose publicly its goals to reduce the use of PVC plastics in its 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 2010.
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.