Activist investors have used shareholder resolutions to pressure Microsoft and Apple on their repair policies. Now, Google is feeling the heat.
Investment firm Green Century Capital Management has filed a right-to-repair proposal with Alphabet, the parent company of Google, according to a press release. The resolution from the Boston-based firm urges the technology giant to make its devices more repairable by consumers and independent repair shops.
Green Century said Google doesn’t address device repairability when assessing the environmental impacts of its electronics, and the company has been known to lobby against right-to-repair legislation. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) recently wrote about Google’s past lobbying against state repair legislation.
“Given the current regulatory landscape and growing interest from consumers, any company in the technology industry that is not embracing repair exposes itself to significant risk,” Leslie Samuelrich, president of Green Century Capital Management, stated in the release.
The proposal mirrors the tactic Green Century used on Apple, which announced its Self Service Repair Program on Nov. 17, 2021, the day of an important deadline in Green Century’s effort to force a vote on a right-to-repair resolution. Because of Apple’s DIY program announcement, Green Century withdrew its resolution.
Microsoft has also faced similar pressure recently. Berkeley, Calif. group As You Sow last year filed a shareholder resolution calling for Microsoft to increase consumers’ repair options. In October 2021, Microsoft announced it would expand the availability of parts and repair documentation beyond the Microsoft Authorized Service Provider network, increase consumer access to local repair options and fund a study examining repair of Microsoft electronics. Following the announcement, As You Sow withdrew its resolution.
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