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Forestry Initiative Urges SEC to Go Paperless

Publicly held companies in the United States would have the option to provide annual reports and shareholder proxy information via the Internet rather than mailing printed material under an initiative proposed by the SEC.

Publicly held companies in the United States would have the option to provide annual reports and shareholder proxy information via the Internet rather than mailing printed material under an initiative proposed by the SEC.

Final ruling on the "Internet Availability of Proxy Materials" initiative is expected on December 13, 2006. American Forests, the nation's oldest citizens' forest conservation organization, urges the SEC to approve this initiative because of the tremendous environmental benefits that it promises. As an example, For the 300 million or so packages each year that are currently mailed, the "Internet Availability of Proxy Materials" initiative would:

  • Allow 800,000 trees to continue to grow each year, removing some 267,000 tons of greenhouse gas from the atmosphere annually;
  • Reduce fossil fuel consumption by approximately 500,000 gallons annually by eliminating the need for 3 million truck miles to transport the mail;
  • Prevent 100,000 tons of paper from going to the nation's landfills each year; and
  • Eliminate 380 thousand tons of greenhouse gas emitted in the manufacturing process.

    Over just 5 years, this initiative would allow more than 4 million trees to continue to grow and continue to store 1.3 million tons of CO2 each year. More than 2.5 million gallons of fossil fuels would be saved, and almost 2 million tons of greenhouse gas that would have been emitted by the manufacturing process would be eliminated.

    Deborah Gangloff, Executive Director of American Forests said "this initiative under consideration by the SEC, will have enormous environmental benefits and will go a long way towards slowing the rate of global climate change by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas released to the atmosphere. We strongly endorse this initiative."

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