Bisphenol A (BPA)
Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. It is commonly found in polycarbonate plastic bottles, canned food linings, cash register receipt tape, and dental sealants.
An increasing body of scientific evidence indicates that BPA is a potent neural, developmental, and reproductive toxicant, with the ability to impact fetal and infant development. Studies have linked exposure to extremely low doses of BPA to increased risk of breast and prostate cancer, impaired immune function, obesity, diabetes, early onset of puberty, hyperactivity, aneuploidy, and other disorders.
As You Sow engaged banking, food, beverage, and grocery companies through shareholder advocacy and an industry scorecard about using bisphenol A (BPA) in their products and packaging. (Read Seeking Safer Packaging for the results of the scorecard).
Our dialogues increased company awareness of the risks of using BPA, pressed them to find alternatives, and encouraged improved transparency with investors and customers.
BPA in Cans
In 2012, we filed a shareholder proposal with grocery chain Safeway asking for transparency about its position on the use of BPA. Our resolution prompted a dialogue with the company and we negotiated a withdrawal of our resolution in exchange for Safeway making a public statement on its website and continued dialogue on this issue.
Our engagement with food companies and grocers on phasing out the use of BPA has produced positive changes in serveral leading companies.
After three shareholder resolutions and strong investor and consumer concern, Coca-Cola, the company confirmed this year that they are actively exploring alternatives to BPA for their cans.
General Mills was the first company we engaged with in dialogue that switched to non-BPA can linings for its popular Muir Glen brand of organic tomatoes, becoming the first major company to begin phasing out of BPA can linings.
As You Sow and Green Century Funds jointly released "Seeking Safer Packaging: Ranking Food Companies on BPA," which graded 20 companies on their use of BPA in their product lines, their efforts at finding alternatives, and their transparency with investors on these subjects. The report led to new dialogues with Campbell's Soup, Coca-Cola, Hain Celestial, Heinz, and Pepsi.
As You Sow and Green Century Capital Management's shareholder resolution and dialogue with Whole Foods resulted its commitment to remove BPA from all their name brand water bottles by the end of 2009.
BPA in Receipts
As You Sow pressed banks and grocers to switch to BPA-free receipt paper. We engaged in dialogue with including Bank of America and CitiBank from 2011 to 2012.
In 2011, As You Sow filed a shareholder resolution with Yum! Brands, owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, A&W, and Taco Bell, about a transition plan to BPA-free paper. We withdrew our resolution from Yum! as the brand has, along with grocery giants Whole Foods and Safeway switched to a non-BPA alternative.
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