June 12, 2018
Restaurant Brands International Owns Burger King, Tim Hortons, & Popeyes
WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, Restaurant Brand International filed the results of their annual shareholder meeting, in which 45% of non-insiders voted in favor of a resolution filed by the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU), calling on the company to issue annual reports to investors, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, providing quantitative metrics on supply chain impacts on deforestation.
The resolution, presented at Restaurant Brands International’s annual meeting by the consumer group SumOfUs, also requests for the report to include progress on time bound goals for reducing deforestation impacts.
“We believe that deforestation is an important component of a corporate sustainability framework
for RBI and is key to RBI’s management of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks,” explained Lisa Lindsley, Capital Markets Advisor for SumOfUs.
“As a shareholder, we want to see RBI set measurable goals and clear timelines for reducing its supply chain impacts on deforestation, thereby improving the sustainability of its business practices,” says BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.
RBI utilizes beef, soy, palm oil, and pulp/paper in its business, which are commodities among the leading drivers of deforestation globally. RBI’s limited action on deforestation exposes the company to the significant business risks that deforestation may pose. This year, shareholders argued that these risks include supply chain unreliability, damage to its brand value, and failure to meet shifting consumer and market expectations.
Deforestation accounts for over 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to biodiversity loss, soil erosion, disrupted rainfall patterns, community land conflicts and forced labor. Commercial agriculture accounted for over 70% of tropical deforestation between 2000 and 2012, half of which was illegal. Value chains that are illegally engaged in deforestation are vulnerable to interruption with new regulations and enforcement, to which companies must adapt.
Companies that have failed to mitigate the impacts of their supply chain face reputational damage. In recent years, major media outlets have reported on specific companies’ failure to adequately implement policies that address deforestation. This publicity, along with increased consumer awareness and concern about deforestation, poses a significant reputational risk.