This excerpt taken from the SWY DEF 14A filed Apr 12, 2005.
That shareholders request the company disclose its social, environmental and economic performance to the public by issuing annual sustainability reports.
The Board of Directors recommends a vote AGAINST this proposal for the following reasons:
The Board believes that Safeways current policies and practices concerning social, environmental and economic issues address the concerns raised by this stockholder proposal. The Companys statement of philosophy and vision since its founding in 1926 is to provide value for our customers and give back to the communities we serve. Operating under this philosophy and vision, Safeway is committed to providing financial support to various local non-profit organizations, fostering its employees volunteer efforts, operating safe and environmentally responsible facilities and maintaining socially diverse supplier and employee bases.
In 2004, The Safeway Foundation and our eScrip program contributed more than $37 million to charitable and non-profit organizations and causes in communities where we do business in the United States and Canada. In addition, during 2004 Safeway donated food and merchandise worth approximately $100 million to various entities that serve the needy. Safeway also has extensive policies and programs to ensure that we conduct our operations to provide a safe, diverse and healthy workplace and to safeguard the environment.
Safeway maintains Diversity Advisory Boards in each of its operating areas whose mission is to recognize, celebrate and benefit from the uniqueness of each employee and customer, to value, respect and support these differences in the workplace and to reflect this diversity in the communities we serve. In addition, Safeways Supplier Diversity Programs mission is to promote supplier participation reflective of the diverse communities in which Safeway does business, while encouraging economic development. Safeways Environmental Affairs and Risk Management departments develop and administer our environmental programs, which include recycling programs to reduce environmental impacts and costs associated with waste disposal (of the Companys materials, products and packaging), programs to reduce chemical use, waste volume and water usage and other programs to use non-ozone depleting substances in Safeways store refrigeration systems and effect more efficient uses of energy in Safeways stores and other facilities. The Company also conducts environmental assessments for its real property transactions.
Wherever it operates, Safeway strives to be a good corporate citizen and promote social and human rights, sound labor practices, product responsibility and economic and environmental practices to address sustainability. Safeway will continue its commitments to the environment, the workplace, its employees, customers and the communities in which it operates and will strive to expand its social responsibility and safe environmental practices. In addition, Safeway makes available to stockholders and other interested parties numerous publications and information on its web site, www.safeway.com, in the Our Company, Club Card, and Community sections that specifically address the issues raised by this stockholder proposal. Such publications include Safeways Annual Fact Book, Annual Report, The Safeway Foundation Newsletter, the Safeway Supplier Handbook, the Corporate Governance Guidelines and Director Independence Standards and the Environmental Status Report. A separate sustainability report would merely duplicate the information that is already provided to and easily accessed by our stockholders and the public. Thus, the Board believes that preparing the special sustainability report requested by the stockholder proposal is unnecessary and would constitute a waste of company funds and resources.
This proposal was presented by the same proponent at the Companys 2004 Annual Meeting and was defeated by a vote of over 80% against the proposal.
THE BOARD UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDS A VOTE AGAINST THIS STOCKHOLDER PROPOSAL, and your Proxy will be so voted unless you specify otherwise.