New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, announced Tuesday that Archer Daniels Midland agreed to adopt policies under which it will accept from suppliers only soybean and palm oil products that aren't due to deforestation.
As a result of the agreement, the $181.7 billion pension fund has withdrawn an anti-deforestation shareholder proposal.
“ADM's commitment to using only sustainably sourced palm and soy products validates our message that strong environmental policies make economic sense,” said state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the sole trustee of the pension fund, in a news release. “We will continue to engage our portfolio companies on multiple fronts to improve their environmental practices.”
The pension fund, which filed the shareholder proposal with Green Century Capital Management, owns just less than 1.8 million shares of ADM with a market value of $83.1 million, said Brian Butry, a spokesman for Mr. DiNapoli, in an interview. The shareholder proposal was submitted in November, Mr. Butry added.
ADM will issue a draft of its no-deforestation policy at about the time of the company's May 7 annual meeting, D. Cameron Findlay, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary, wrote in a March 17 letter to the comptroller's office and Green Century Capital Management.
The company will “map our supply chains and develop and publish action plans immediately thereafter,” said the letter, a copy of which was made public by the comptroller's office.
“ADM commits to build traceable and transparent agricultural supply chains that protect forests worldwide,” said the introduction to ADM's no-deforestation policies, which also was made public by the comptroller's office.