Restaurant Brands International Inc. | Public Health Costs of Antimicrobial Resistance at Restaurant Brands International Inc.

Status
AGM passed
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
QSR
Resolution ask
Conduct due diligence, audit or risk/impact assessment
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Public health
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
Canada
Resolved clause
RESOLVED, shareholders ask that the board of directors institute a policy that the Company (“RBI”) comply with World Health Organization (“WHO”) Guidelines on Use of Medically Important Antimicrobials in Food-Producing Animals (“WHO Guidelines”)1 throughout RBI’s supply chains.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: RBI is one of the world’s largest fast food restaurant operators and a major purchaser of meat; its policies thus have tremendous influence on the market as a whole. Some of RBI’s brands have made some progress in reducing or eliminating use of certain antibiotics in their poultry supply chains in their U.S. and/or Canadian markets. While this is laudable, it falls far short of the measures necessary to protect RBI’s investors’ diversified portfolios. The WHO Guidelines pertain to all food-producing animals in all markets.
Antibiotics overuse is known to exacerbate antimicrobial resistance (“AMR”), which the WHO describes as “one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.”2 AMR poses a systemic threat to public health and the economy. When the efficacy and availability of life-saving drugs are compromised, the entire economy suffers. And when the economy suffers, investors lose. By 2050, AMR could cause
$100 trillion in lost global production,3 thus lowering the economy’s intrinsic value and devastating portfolio returns for institutional investors.
RBI’s policies do not comport with the WHO Guidelines, which recommend that “farmers and the food industry stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals” and provide evidence-based recommendations and best practices. As one of RBI’s competitors has acknowledged, robust AMR protections raise “[t]he challenge of individual costs and widely distributed societal benefits.”4 But for diversified investors, the portfolio-wide costs associated with AMR are paramount. As the Financial Times editorial board recently stated, “What has been dubbed ‘the silent pandemic’ requires the intervention at a global level of investors and governments alike.”5
RBI’s decision not to prioritize broad AMR risks does not account for its diversified owners’ interests in optimizing public health, the economy, and their long-term portfolio returns. By engaging meat suppliers that use medically important drugs beyond WHO Guidelines, RBI adds to the economic threat AMR poses to its diversified shareholders: reducing the economy’s intrinsic value will directly reduce diversified portfolios’ long-term returns.6 RBI’s profit gain that comes at the expense of public health is a bad trade for RBI’s diversified shareholders, who rely on broad economic growth to achieve their financial objectives.
By changing its policies and adhering to the WHO Guidelines, RBI could save lives, contribute to a more resilient economy, and protect its diversified investors’ portfolios.
Please vote for: Comply with Expert Guidelines on Antimicrobial Use – Item 4*
1 https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/258970/9789241550130-eng.pdf
2 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antimicrobial-resistance
3 https://theshareholdercommons.com/case-studies/amr-case-study/
4 https://www.yum.com/wps/wcm/connect/yumbrands/41a69d9d-5f66-4a68-bdee- e60d138bd741/Antimicrobial+Resistance+Report+2021+11-4+-+final.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=nPMkceo 5 https://www.ft.com/content/158aa07a-ff5a-4bd0-8248-3b4fa86492c8
6 https://www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/documents/universal_ownership_full.pdf

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
Legal & General Investment Management (Holdings) For A detailed explanation of our vote intention can be found on the LGIM Blog: https://blog.lgim.com/categories/esg-and-long-term-themes/lgims-voting-intentions-for-2024/

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