Investors Urge AT&T to Reduce Lead Battery Use and Improve Recycling

AT&T shareholders have voted on a proposal at the company’s annual meeting calling for the adoption of a comprehensive policy to address the environmental and health impacts from manufacturing and recycling lead batteries. AT&T uses large numbers of lead batteries in the company’s data centers, cell phone towers, and in other operations.
Leading investors including Boston Common Asset Management, Dignity Health, and First Affirmative Financial Network are asking AT&T to enact a policy to address the tons of lead batteries used in the company’s supply chain.
Steven Heim , Managing Director at Boston Common Asset Management, states, “Battery recycling operations, especially outside the U.S., pose serious long-term health problems along with substantial legal risks for the company. We call on AT&T to assess where and how its lead acid batteries are acquired and recycled, and how environmental and safety standards compliance is being assured throughout their supply chain.”

Batteries account for more than 80 percent of global lead consumption.

Similar shareholder proposals were brought to five additional companies including Amazon, AT&T, Google, IBM, and Verizon since November 2012.

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