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Statement: U.S. PIRG Education Fund approves Target’s* new commitments, urges continued plastic reduction
DENVER - Following a shareholder proposal filed by As You Sow and Green Century Capital Management°, Target Corporation, a Fortune 50 general merchandise retailer, agreed to set a virgin plastic elimination goal for its private brand packaging across its fast-moving goods categories. The company will focus its efforts on packaging in the food and beverage, household cleaning, personal care and beauty product segments.
Target’s commitment comes amid a wave of recent corporate virgin plastic reduction announcements, which were also secured through shareholder engagement with major consumer goods companies. Green Century led the engagement with Coca-Cola Co. and Mattel. As You Sow and Green Century co-led the engagement with Target, and As You Sow led efforts with Keurig Dr Pepper, Mondelez International, and PepsiCo.
Both U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Green Century Capital Management are part of the Public Interest Network.
In response, Alex Truelove, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Zero Waste director, released the following statement:
“Target’s new commitment to virgin plastic reduction is an admirable first step, especially if the company embraces product redesign, reuse and refill in achieving their reduction goals. We agree, the last thing we need is more, new plastic.
Whether or not these actions reduce our plastic pollution downstream will depend on Target’s approach. We can’t rely on recycling alone, because recycled plastic still requires virgin plastic. If companies like Target continue to sell products in single-use packaging, recycled or not, waste and pollution will follow. I look forward to their future commitments.”
About Green Century Capital Management
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are the first family of fossil fuel free, responsible, and diversified mutual funds in the United States. Green Century Capital Management hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of March 31, 2021, Target Corporation comprised 1.05%, 0.56%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of any of the Green Century Funds. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
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