J&J talc lawsuits, UK public companies fail to publish credible climate transition plans, Salesforce enhances reporting on racial equity and more...

The Activist Investor

Apr 13 2023 • 4 mins

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is settling lawsuits alleging that their talc-based baby powder causes cancer with an $8.9 billion offer

J&J currently faces about 40,000 lawsuits from people claiming its talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos. The company has always denied the allegations, stating that decades of scientific testing and regulatory approvals have shown its talc to be safe and asbestos-free.

J&J decided to pull its talc-based baby powder from the US market in 2020, citing "misinformation" about the product's safety as the cause of the declining demand. In 2022, J&J halted the sale of the talc-based powder globally, following a shareholder proposal fromTulipshare and heavy pressure from other stakeholders.

Yet, the company maintains that the claims against its talc products lack scientific merit, but believes that settling these cases through the proposed reorganization plan is more equitable and efficient. It allows claimants to be compensated in a timely manner and enables the company to focus on its commitment to positively impact health for humanity.

Read more about it here

UK’s largest public companies fail to publish credible climate transition plans

New research from EY has found that just 5% of the UK’s largest public companies, specifically FTSE 100 companies, have published climate transition plans that are “credible” or sufficiently detailed under draft British government guidance.  This is in comparison to the 80% of FTSE 100 companies who claim to have plans which include public targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2020.

Investors are seen to demand companies to outline how their finances would be affected by the shift to net zero but companies are found to be unprepared without any actionable plans to enable the transition. In fact, these companies scored the weakest against the Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) framework’s implementation requirement, which asks companies to disclose how they intend to adapt business planning and operations and change products and services.

According to Rob Doepel, EY UK and Ireland managing partner for sustainability, with the unpreparedness, the COP26 target for companies to publish mandatory transition plans in 2023 would likely be missed, but said “2024 is realistic”

Shareholders have an important role to play in pushing businesses to develop actionable transition plans. And it's not just us at Tulipshare saying this. "Say on Climate'' is a global campaign, initiated by billionaire investor Chris Hohn, which advocates for shareholders to vote on a company’s transition plans.

We pass the baton to you, shareholders.

Read more about it here

Can Exxon’s low-carbon business outperform the company’s traditional oil & gas?

Could oil and gas be replaced by decarbonised alternatives? ExxonMobil says yes.
In fact the CEO, Darren Woods, claims that Exxon Mobil Corp's Low Carbon business could outperform the company's traditional oil and gas, taking on a market worth several trillion dollars within a decade.

This shift is not only driven by environmental concerns but also by the benefits of reducing Exxon's exposure to commodity price fluctuations, regulatory and policy support for carbon pricing, and the cost of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more about it here

Tulipshare withdraws its Salesforce proposal

And finally this week, Tulipshare reached an agreement with Salesforce! For those of you who have been following us for a while, you might recall that Tulipshare brought the racial equity audit proposal to Salesforce's AGM last year, which received  33.8% of shareholder votes.

Since then, we spent months talking and working with Salesforce, and finally both parties reached a mutual agreement to withdraw the proposal and no-action challenge.

Our work with Salesforce resulted in the Company demonstrating a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and its reporting efforts on those matters. This progress has led to the withdrawal of our proposal.

Read more about it here

Head over to tulipshare.com. to read all about the stories covered in this week’s newsletter and podcast.

That’s all for this week. Until next time!