Victory: Disney, Costco, Marriott and more choose planet over plastic

Staff | TPIN
Single-use plastic bags and polystyrene cups and containers

Marriott*, the world’s largest hotel group; Costco*, the world’s third-largest retailer; and Disney*, the global entertainment giant, are among the latest companies committing to reducing single-use plastic.

The shareholder advocacy team at Green Century°, the family of environmentally responsible mutual funds founded and owned by groups in The Public Interest Network, helped win the following improvements to corporate plastic policies over the past several months:

  • Costco* is disclosing the plastic footprint of its Kirkland Brand products and unveiling a five-year action plan to reduce plastic packaging at year’s end;
  • Marriott* is disclosing its plastic footprint and is setting a single-use plastic reduction goal by 2026;
  • Disney* is disclosing its plastic footprint and adding another plastic reduction goal in 2026 to its previous commitments to eliminate single-use plastic on cruise ships, introduce plastic-free packaging, and more;
  • Choice Hotels*, the parent company of Comfort Inn and Econo Lodge, is disclosing its plastic footprint and setting a single-use plastic reduction goal next year;
  • Mattel*, the toymaker that gave us Barbie and Hot Wheels, is disclosing its single-use plastic footprint with CDP, the gold standard in environmental reporting;
  • Hasbro*, the Peppa Pig and G.I. Joe toymaker, is disclosing its single-use plastic footprint; and
  • Hilton*, the world’s third-largest hotel brand, is disclosing its single-use plastic footprint in 2025 and setting a plastic reduction goal in 2026.

All these plastic pollution disclosure commitments are welcome actions, but are just the first steps toward acknowledging and addressing a worldwide plastic waste crisis that’s spiraling out of control.

A 2023 study showed that, for each of the eight billion people on the planet, there are roughly 21,000 pieces of plastic in the ocean, with plastic pollution doubling every six years. Since it’s increasingly clear that we can’t recycle our way out of our plastic waste problem, we must dramatically reduce the amount of plastic we produce in the first place.

The animating idea behind Green Century is that we ought to be able to do business and prosper without creating crises of sustainability. That’s why Green Century pairs shareholder advocacy with its environmentally responsible investment Funds, letting us all save for the future without compromising that future. All of Green Century’s net profits boost its nonprofit owners, including MASSPIRG and CALPIRG, as they work to move America beyond single-use plastic at the corporate, local, state and federal levels.

There’s much more work to be done to bring corporate policies and practices in line with our vision for a zero-waste future. Green Century’s advocates won’t stop working until the elimination of wasteful and unnecessary plastic becomes “business as usual.”

°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (the Funds).

The Green Century Funds are a family of fossil fuel-free, environmentally responsible mutual funds. 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, 2024, Marriott International, Inc. Class A comprised 0.00%, 0.27% and 0.00%; Costco Wholesale Corporation comprised 1.19%, 0.00% and 0.00%; The Walt Disney Company comprised 0.00%, 0.96% and 0.00%; Choice Hotels International, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.02% and 0.00%; Mattel, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.03% and 0.00%; Hasbro, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.03% and 0.00% and Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.23% and 0.00% of 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.

You should carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. To obtain a Prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds please visit www.greencentury.com, email [email protected], or call 1-800-934-7336. Please read the Prospectus carefully before investing.

Stocks will fluctuate in response to factors that may affect a single company, industry, sector, country, region or the market as a whole and may perform worse than the market. Foreign securities are subject to additional risks such as currency fluctuations, regional economic and political conditions, differences in accounting methods, and other unique risks compared to investing in securities of U.S. issuers. Bonds are subject to a variety of risks including interest rate, credit, and inflation risk. A sustainable investment strategy which incorporates environmental, social and governance criteria may result in lower or higher returns than an investment strategy that does not include such criteria.

This information has been prepared from sources believed reliable. The views expressed are as the date of this writing and are those of the Advisor to the Funds.

The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 6/24. UMB and Green Century are not affiliated.

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Authors

Douglas H. Phelps

President and Executive Director, The Public Interest Network

Doug is President and Executive Director of The Public Interest Network. As director of MASSPIRG starting in 1979, he conceived and helped organize the Fund for the Public Interest, U.S. PIRG, National Environmental Law Center, Green Century Capital Management, Green Corps and Environment America, among other groups. Doug ran the public interest careers program at the Harvard Law School from 1976-1986. He is a graduate of Colorado State University and the Harvard Law School.

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