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New York State Common pulls shareholder proposals at Bed Bath, Best Buy

Best Buy store

New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, withdrew shareholder proposals at Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. and Best Buy Co., after the companies agreed to encourage their suppliers to report on workplace safety, human and worker rights, and environmental compliance, according to a statement Friday from Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York state comptroller and sole trustee of the $152.9 billion pension fund.

“Best Buy agreed to encourage 20 of its major suppliers to produce regular sustainability reports and help them in building management systems that will increase those suppliers' abilities to report on their sustainability efforts,” the statement said.

Meredith Miller, chief corporate governance officer of the $52.4 billion UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, Ann Arbor, Mich., a co-filer of the Best Buy resolution, said in the statement, “Best Buy's efforts send an important signal to investors that the company values compliance and ethics as key components of good corporate governance practices.”

Bed Bath & Beyond agreed to add wording to its vendor compliance guides, scheduled to be released by next January, for domestic and foreign vendors, encouraging its suppliers “to adopt a comprehensive program of responsible practices and to prepare a corporate responsibility” or sustainability report, the statement said.

Michael J. Callahan, vice president-corporate counsel at Bed Bath & Beyond; Todd G. Hartman, senior vice president, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary at Best Buy; and Ms. Miller couldn't be reached for comment.

New York State Common owned 703,193 Bed Bath & Beyond shares, valued at $45.4 million, and 770,945 Best Buy shares, valued at $17.6 million, as of March 22, while the UAW trust held 119,825 Best Buy shares, valued at $2.6 million, as of March 27, the statement said.