by NEI ESG Services Team.
Better packaging materials will improve circularity.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in our Active Ownership Report from Q1, 2022
Winpak is making good progress on its commitments to improve the environmental impact of its packaging products, and the CEO demonstrates passion and enthusiasm in this area. The company is challenged, however, by lack of diversity at the board level. We voted against Winpak’s non-independent board members as well as nominating committee members for lack of gender and racial diversity.
We met with the president and CEO of Winpak in March for a solo engagement focused on product circularity as a follow-up to an earlier meeting with other company representatives, where we had explained our voting rationale and discussed steps for achieving more diversity.
Winpak is a significant player in North America’s food and healthcare packaging industry, with facilities in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. They have a 2025 target of manufacturing 100% sustainable products that are recycle ready, include post-consumer recycled content, or made from bio-based materials. Winpak is active in industry groups such as the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and Packaging Association of Canada. We encouraged the company to join the Canada Plastics Pact, noting their targets are already nicely aligned. We see this as a leadership opportunity for Winpak, in that they would be able to collaborate both upstream (suppliers) and downstream (customers) for even greater impact. Winpak has achieved “leadership” status for four straight years in the Supplier Engagement Rating from CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project).
The rating assesses a company’s performance on governance, targets, scope 3 emissions and value chain engagement.
The CEO was excited to explain that Winpak considers sustainable packaging to be an opportunity for growth and diversification while meeting the sustainability needs of its customers.
Next Steps: We will be following up with Winpak on release of its next sustainability report to discuss climate strategy more broadly and to check up on plans to improve board and workforce diversity.
This material is for informational and educational purposes and it is not intended to provide specific advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, tax or similar matters. The views expressed herein are subject to change without notice as markets change over time. Information herein is believed to be reliable but NEI does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Views expressed regarding a particular security, industry or market sector should not be considered an indication of trading intent of any funds managed by NEI Investments. Forward-looking statements are not guaranteed of future performance and risks and uncertainties often cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking information or expectations. Do not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.
NEI Investments is a registered trademark of Northwest & Ethical Investments L.P. (“NEI LP”). Northwest & Ethical Investments Inc. is the general partner of NEI LP and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aviso Wealth Inc. (“Aviso”). Aviso is the sole limited partner of the NEI LP. Aviso is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aviso Wealth LP, which in turn is owned 50% by Desjardins Financial Holding Inc. and 50% by a limited partnership owned by the five Provincial Credit Union Centrals and the CUMIS Group Limited.