Time Warner Inc.: Request for Report on Sustainable Development Goals
WHEREAS: In 2015, more than 190 world leaders at the United Nations committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. The US Council for International Business (USCIB) states that the SDGs create “a tremendous opportunity for the private sector to demonstrate the central role it plays in sustainable development and human prosperity”. The UN Secretary General has underscored the crucial role that businesses play in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Health underpins many of the 17 goals. The first SDG goal is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere.” Good health supports economic growth and reduces poverty. Goal 2 aims “to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition.” Prevention, including a healthy and balanced diet, is critical for avoiding disease. SDG Goal 3 is: “To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death and disease worldwide;
The Goals recognize, on a global scale, the negative impact of tobacco consumption on health, wealth and development;
The movie industry is a global business with U.S. movie companies dominating the global market, including economically developing countries;
Commenting on a 2012 report from the Motion Picture Academy of America noting worldwide box office tallies, Phil Hoad, writing in The Guardian, stated: “The MPAA report is still, sadly, low on detail on overseas activity, despite abroad being where Hollywood's compass points these days. It certainly doesn't broach the touchy question – loaded with the old cultural-imperialism chestnut – of exactly what level of dominance Hollywood enjoys worldwide”;
It is unknown what percentage of box office receipts are coming from economically developing countries. However, nearly one billion people in the world smoke every day, with 80% of these living in low- and middle-income countries. Over six million people die from tobacco use every year. This makes tobacco a barrier to sustainable development in such countries;
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Surgeon General and the World Health Organization have shown that tobacco portrayals in youth-friendly movies are (after parental smoking and peer-influence) the key deliverer of youth to smoking. This fact is a critical concern for countries facing health costs incurred from tobacco use;
Given the statistics above, it seems quite clear to some of our Company’s shareholders that tobacco impressions in youth-friendly movies may be undermining the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.
BE IT RESOLVED: That shareholders request that Time Warner issue a report describing how the company will ensure shareholders that its policies and practices are advancing and not undermining the Sustainable Development Goals.