Environment America Research & Policy Center delivered 33,564 petition signatures to the shareholders of Procter & Gamble (P&G), parent company of Charmin and Bounty. The petition called upon P&G shareholders to act to end the use of virgin wood in tissue paper products such as to help preserve the Canadian boreal forest. The Canadian boreal forest is a crucial ecosystem and one of the planet's largest carbon sinks — it absorbs enough carbon dioxide each year to offset the emissions of 24 million passenger vehicles. But the boreal is currently disappearing at a rate of one and a half football fields every single minute. This is in part due to logging used to source the virgin fibers in P&G brands' tissue products.
The petitions were delivered just one day prior to P&G’s annual shareholder meeting to be held Oct 12. Among other business items, investors will be voting whether or not to reelect the company’s board of directors. This year, environment and shareholder activists are urging investors to not reelect Angela Braly, the chair of the Governance & Public Responsibility Committee, who they assert has failed to adequately respond to a 2020 shareholder proposal passed by 67% of investors. The shareholder proposal, which was filed by Green Century Capital Management, called on P&G to increase its efforts to mitigate deforestation and forest degradation in its supply chains. That over 33,000 American consumers have demonstrated that they want P&G to reduce its negative impact on the boreal forest by signing our petitions will, with luck, send a strong message to P&G shareholders that it is time to vote to stop flushing our forests.