Green Mutual Fund Aims Third Shareholder Resolution at Proposed Mine Near Okefenokee

Dave Williams

Monday, December 4th, 2023

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Mutual fund company Green Century Management has filed a third shareholder proposal asking a prominent company to address risks associated with a plan to mine titanium near the Okefenokee Swamp.

Atlanta-based The Home Depot Inc. is a leading retailer of titanium dioxide-based paint.

“Home Depot acknowledges that sustainability efforts make its business stronger, more agile, and more resilient,” Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich said Wednesday. “A permanent commitment to protect the Okefenokee would do just that.”

The Home Depot shareholder resolution follows shareholder measures filed earlier in November aimed at Chemours, which manufactures and sells chemicals including titanium dioxide, and Sherwin-Williams, a major carrier of titanium dioxide-based paint.

While Home Depot has confirmed that its primary paint suppliers do not currently have plans to source titanium dioxide from the proposed mine, the company has not made a public commitment regarding future titanium sourcing.

Alabama-based Twin Pines Minerals is seeking state permits to mine titanium dioxide on Trail Ridge, the Okefenokee’s eastern hydrologic boundary.

While company executives have said the project would not harm the swamp, scientific studies have concluded the proposed mine would significantly damage one of the world’s largest intact freshwater wetlands by drawing down its water level and increasing the risk of drought and fires.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division has received more than 100,000 public comments opposing the mine. A poll released last year found nearly 70% of Georgians oppose granting permits for the project.

“Mining has no place at an ecological gem like the Okefenokee,” said Annie Sanders, director of shareholder advocacy with Green Century. “With headquarters in the Okefenokee’s backyard, Home Depot has a unique opportunity to bolster its environmental image with customers, employees, and shareholders.”