Mondelez International, Inc. | Assess Effectiveness of Human Rights Policy Implementation at Mondelez International, Inc.

Status
AGM passed
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
7
Resolution details
Company ticker
MDLZ
Resolution ask
Conduct due diligence, audit or risk/impact assessment
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Conflict and/or violence
  • Human rights
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Consumer Staples
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders request the Board of Directors commission an independent third-party report, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, assessing the effectiveness of the company’s implementation of its Human Rights Policy (HRP) for operations in conflict-affected and high-risk areas (CAHRA),1 including Russia/Ukraine.
Whereas clause
WHEREAS: Mondelēz commits to using the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) to prevent and mitigate human rights risks.2 The UNGPs call on companies to conduct heightened human rights due diligence (HRDD) in CAHRA due to widespread human rights abuses and violations of national and international law.3 Multilateral organizations, EU states, and accounting bodies are passing legislation on mandatory HRDD4 and sustainable investment reporting5 while also calling on companies to report on material human rights risks.6
The International Finance Corporation reports that companies in CAHRA “face business risks that are much greater than those in other emerging markets,” including destruction of assets, deaths and injuries, weak state control, and supply-chain disruptions.7 A recent survey of 1,200 CEOs indicated 97% of respondents altered investment strategies due to geopolitical volatility and over one-third relocated operations based on conflict risks.8
Mondelēz’s operations in Russia and Ukraine expose the company to material human rights risks. The United States and EU have imposed an array of sanctions and export controls9 against Russia and its state-owned businesses in response to the Ukraine invasion and associated credible accusations of war crimes.10 The Russian government’s “partial mobilization” order requires companies to facilitate the conscription of staff and provide support to the military upon request,11 threatening to disrupt Mondelēz’s operations and putting staff and assets at risk. Furthermore, Mondelēz’s factory in Ukraine was damaged by a Russian military attack in March 2023.12
The Ukrainian National Agency on Corruption Prevention designated Mondelēz an “international sponsor of war.”13 The company faces backlash from international customers,14 employees,15 and civil society.16,17
Mondelēz lags industry peers in responding to the heightened risk of operating in Russia. While nearly 200 American companies have left Russia, Mondelēz continues operating with over 3,000 employees, 30,000 suppliers, and multiple factories,18 generating $173 million in taxes to the Russian state since the invasion began.19 Between April 2022 and March 2023, Mondelēz increased Milka chocolate bar shipments to Russia by 131%, overall shipments by 56.8%, and saw a 303% increase in Russian profits in 2022.20,21
Mondelēz's activities in Russia may result in brand damage, violations of the company’s HRP and the UNGPs, and exposure to Russian sanctioned entities, warranting increased disclosure.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT
Shareholders seek information, at board and management discretion, through a report that:
● Analyzes the effectiveness of the HRP’s assessment, mitigation, and reporting on human rights risks in CAHRA, including Russia and Ukraine.
● Assesses if additional policies, practices, and governance measures are needed to mitigate risks.
1 http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264185050-en
2 https://www.mondelezinternational.com/assets/PDFs/Mondelez-International-Human-Rights-Policy.pdf
3 https://www.undp.org/publications/heightened-human-rights-due-diligence-business-conflict-affected-contexts-guide
4 https://commission.europa.eu/business-economy-euro/doing-business-eu/corporate-sustainability-due-diligence_en
5 https://finance.ec.europa.eu/sustainable-finance/disclosures/sustainability-related-disclosure-financial-services-sector_en
6 http://www.entegreraporlamatr.org/tr//mailing/25122020/images/Reporting-on-enterprise-value_climate-prototype_Dec20.pdf
7 https://www.ifc.org/en/what-we-do/sector-expertise/fragile-and-conflict-affected-situations
8 https://assets.ey.com/content/dam/ey-sites/ey-com/en_us/topics/ceo/ey-ceo-outlook-pulse-survey-january-2023-global-report.pdf
9 https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0608
10 https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-kyiv-business-european-commission-united-kingdom-acb86730120a1230b9eb95c3ebdded77
11 https://base.garant.ru/136945/#friends
12 https://www.reuters.com/business/oreo-maker-mondelez-says-ukrainian-biscuit-factory-suffered-significant-damage-2022-03-31/
13 https://nazk.gov.ua/en/news/the-nacp-included-the-manufacturer-barney-the-bear-in-the-list-of-international-sponsors-of-the-war/
14 https://www.reuters.com/business/oreo-maker-mondelez-faces-nordic-backlash-over-russia-business-2023-06-12/
15 https://www.reuters.com/business/oreo-maker-nestle-pepsi-face-pressure-european-employees-over-russia-2022-04-14/
16 https://fortune.com/2023/07/11/the-feckless-400-these-companies-are-still-doing-business-in-russia-funding-putins-war-sonnenfeld-tian/
17 https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/mondelez-silences-ukrainian-voices-by-deleting-uncomfortable-questions-comments-on-its-profitable-business-in-russia-during-live-event-on-social-media/
18 https://finance.yahoo.com/news/mondelez-ceo-why-were-still-doing-business-in-russia-204049695.html
19 https://leave-russia.org/mondelez
20 https://www.reuters.com/business/retail-consumer/mondelez-singled-out-boycott-over-russia-business-memo-2023-06-16/
21 https://www.business-humanrights.org/en/latest-news/ukraine-govt-designates-mondelez-as-intl-war-sponsor-over-ongoing-business-in-russia/

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
AP7 For
AP4 For
Anima Sgr For Investors would benefit from an independent review of the effectiveness of the company's human rights policy in conflict-affected and high-risk areas in order to better assess whether the company is sufficiently managing associated risks.
Kutxabank Gestion SGIIC SAU. Against

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