The five New York City pension funds called on Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Starbucks Corp. and 12 other companies to disclose details about their supplier diversity programs, said a news release Thursday from Scott M. Stringer, New York City comptroller who oversees the assets of the pension funds.
“Working with a broader pool of diverse suppliers helps businesses manage risk, save money and capitalize on emerging opportunities to create long-term value,” Mr. Stringer said in the news release. “While more and more companies are making supplier diversity part of their business plan, shareowners deserve real transparency about these initiatives. Disclosure should be a market standard so investors can see which programs are the most effective and push companies they own to do better.”
Supplier diversity programs include use of businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and LGBTQ individuals.
Mr. Stringer on behalf of the pension funds sent letters Sept. 14 to the chairmen and CEOs of the companies, which also include Alcoa Inc., Allergan PLC, Colgate-Palmolive Co., Costco Wholesale Corp., Dow Chemical Co., General Dynamics Corp., Kraft Heinz Co., Lowe's Cos. Inc., Mondelez International Inc., Monsanto Co., Visa Inc., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.
The five pension funds that make up the $163 billion New York City Retirement Systems have combined stockholdings in the companies ranging from $28 million in Twenty-First Century Fox to $649 million in Facebook.
Details the funds seek from each target company include the annual spending to the diverse suppliers by diversity category, such as women-owned business, and the spending as a percentage of the total spent on all suppliers. Other information includes disclosure of quantitative performance goals for supplier diversity programs and annual progress toward achieving goals, as well as details on ways supplier diversity programs are reinforced throughout the company.
Tyrone Stevens, comptroller spokesman, was unable to say whether any companies have responded but said the initiative is still in its early stage and he expects the companies to respond.