Advisory: Week of action planned at Procter & Gamble HQ as annual meeting looms

Advisory: Week of action planned at Procter & Gamble HQ as annual meeting looms

Friday October 02, 2020

October 7-13: Activists to gather virtually & in Cincinnati ahead of important shareholder vote on concerns about impacts to forests, communities

CINCINNATI, OHIO — Activists will gather virtually and in person at Procter & Gamble’s headquarters next week for a series of events ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting, aiming to highlight a looming vote over a shareholder resolution that raises concerns about the company’s poor forest sourcing practices. The crucial vote comes after more than a year of campaigning by Stand.earth & the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to push the world’s largest consumer goods company to implement stronger forest protections in the boreal forest in Canada, where the company sources some of its fiber. Forest degradation in the boreal is destroying habitat for endangered species like caribou and threatening Indigenous peoples’ ways of life.

From Wednesday, October 7, to Tuesday, October 13 — the date of P&G’s virtual annual meeting — activists with environmental, indigenous, and youth groups will hold a series of virtual events and in-person actions at P&G’s headquarters in Cincinnati. The main virtual event is a webinar critiquing P&G’s “Our Home” campaign, and the in-person actions include a petition delivery by youth climate activists, a prayer and blessing by Cincinnati indigenous & faith leaders, a “sit in” with Charmin bears on rolling toilets, a Halloween-themed event with Charmin mummies and tombstones, and a “picket line” with Charmin bears. There will be movie screenings and dance parties, and, on a more somber note, one activist will hold a multi-day vigil and hunger strike. (*See below for a note on COVID-19 precautions.)

The groups hope to draw attention to an important vote happening at Procter & Gamble’s virtual annual meeting over Shareholder Proposal #5 (page 78) by Green Century Equity Fund,asking P&G to assess how it can increase the scale, pace, and rigor of its efforts to eliminate deforestation and the degradation of intact forests in its supply chains for palm oil and forest pulp. The company has encouraged a “no” vote on the proposal.

PHOTOS & VIDEO: Follow Stand.earth on Twitter and Facebook to get photos & video from the week of action.

Webinar critiquing P&G’s “Our Home” campaign

WHEN: Wednesday, October 7, 10-11:30 a.m. PT / 1- 2:30 p.m. ET
ONLINE: RSVP at http://bit.ly/TruthAboutProcterGamble. The webinar will also be livestreamed at facebook.com/standearth

This virtual webinar titled "The Truth about P&G's Impact on Forests and Communities" will kick off the week of action leading up to P&G’s virtual annual shareholder meeting on October 13. An indigenous leader from Grassy Narrows First Nation in Canada and a community leader from the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI) will talk about the ways they have been historically impacted by destructive forestry and poor labor practices, and speakers from advocacy groups Stand.earth, NRDC, Friends of the Earth, Rainforest Action Network, David Suzuki Foundation, and Wildlands League will talk about how P&G’s “Our Home” campaign is a greenwashing initiative that funds flashy projects while downplaying the company’s massive impacts in the places it sources its fiber and palm oil from.

Multi-day vigil and hunger strike

WHEN: 9 a.m. ET Wednesday, October 7, to 6 p.m. ET Friday, October 9
WHERE: P&G headquarters, 1 P&G Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Alongside the planned events happening at P&G’s headquarters, Cincinnati resident and long-time activist Jen Mendoza will hold a 72-hour personal vigil and hunger strike, to draw attention to the significant harm the company causes to indigenous communities and the environment worldwide.

Prayer and blessing with Cincinnati faith & indigenous leaders

WHEN: Wednesday, October 7, prayer begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, press conference begins at 1:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: P&G headquarters, 1 P&G Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45202

In April 2020, faith leaders sent an open letter to P&G voicing their concerns over climate change and urging the company to stop destroying critical forests for toilet paper. The company did not respond. At this event, Jheri Neri, director of the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition, will lead a prayer and blessing reiterating the message that protecting Earth is a sign of respect for creation.

Petition delivery with youth climate activists

WHEN: Wednesday, October 7, 1:30 p.m. ET or immediately following the press conference with Cincinnati faith & indigenous leaders
WHERE: P&G headquarters, 1 P&G Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Youth climate activists will deliver a petition signed by 72,000 people urging Procter & Gamble to stop flushing our forests. The petition signatures were gathered by Stand.earth.

Charmin bear sit-in with rolling toilets

WHEN: Thursday, October 8, 12 p.m. ET
WHERE: P&G headquarters, 1 P&G Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45202

As this cartoon shows, the Charmin bears are finally fed up with their gig as spokesbears for a company that turns around and destroys their home for toilet paper. The entire family of Charmin bears is planning to roll into town — toilets and all — to stage a sit-in at P&G’s headquarters.

Halloween-themed protest with Charmin mummies and tombstones

WHEN: Friday, October 9, 12 p.m. ET
WHERE: P&G headquarters, 1 P&G Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45202

The Charmin bears aren’t the only forest critters fed up with P&G’s forest destruction. This somber Halloween-themed protest will feature endangered caribou and Charmin mummies holding a spooky seance in a P&G graveyard filled with the souls of forest critters past.

WHAT: Charmin bear picket line

WHEN: Tuesday, October 13, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET
WHERE: P&G headquarters, 1 P&G Plaza, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Although Procter & Gamble’s annual meeting is being held virtually this year, activists will join the company’s iconic Charmin bears in a picket line outside Procter & Gamble’s headquarters.

BACKGROUND

Stand.earth and NRDC launched their Issue with Tissue campaign against Procter & Gamble in February 2019, criticizing the world’s biggest consumer goods manufacturer for making toilet paper and tissue products from endangered forests and threatened species habitat. 

Despite engaging in a long negotiation process with executives ahead of the company’s 2019 annual meeting, Stand.earth and NRDC reached an impasse with Procter & Gamble executives over the company’s sourcing practices when executives refused to set time-bound goals to stop sourcing from Canadian suppliers that fail to meet federal guidelines on endangered boreal caribou protections, failed to require its suppliers that source from Indigenous territories to adhere to principles of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, and refused to incorporate any recycled fiber into its products. 

In July 2020, Stand.earth and NRDC critiqued the launch of P&G’s “Our Home” campaign for failing to protect climate-critical forests like the boreal forest in Canada, where the company sources huge quantities of fiber for its toilet paper and tissue products.

*NOTE ON COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS: All in-person events being planned in Cincinnati will follow COVID-19 protocols. Interested onlookers and participants are encouraged to maintain proper social distancing and wear face masks, and to stay home if they are experiencing any COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.

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Media contact: Virginia Cleaveland, media@stand.earth, +1 510 858 9902 (Pacific Time)