Environment: Need to stop companies to send their PRINTED annual reports
- View SourcePROBLEM: There is a lot of wastage of paper which adds to the destruction of the tree cover and harm to the environment because of the compulsory requirement for a public listed company to send their annual reports to EACH shareholder on account of the company law or other related laws, whether the shareholder reads it or not. Most times shareholders NEVER read these voluminous reports or glance thru them cursorily and these are read ONLY by stock market reporters/analysts etc people -- a minuscule percentage of the total shareholder numbers.
There should be a simple amendment in the company law or relevant act that a public listed company should ascertain in advance (by post/email/website--being a depository participant/fax etc) from each shareholder whether they need a printed copy of the annual report. To those shareholders who are unable to reply to the questionnaire within a time limit of one month, it should be automatically deemed as if the shareholder DOES NOT want the annual PRINTED report to be sent by post etc. The Print run can then be estimated and copies made accordingly to be posted to only those who really need it. Most people now have web access and should be able to download a pdf version of the AR from the company website and save paper costs.
Since some companies may still not implement such CSR guidelines, the law/amendment must ask them to publicly state on their website --when they implement the suggestion and how much saving from earlier time has happenned on postage/printing. The law also must have penal provisions in case companies do not comply as most of the shareholder support function is subcontracted to 3rd parties --reliance has a subcontractor for this purpose called karvy consultants and so on.
The company should be able to send the annual report as a weblink from the official company site and may have to form a shareholder's section/CRM.
This small change in the company law may save the nation trillions in environmental hidden costs, not to mention reducing some of the company costs directly and thus helping the shareholders in a small way.
I hope environmental groups/ngos/activists write letters to their MPs and work on them to make such an amendment faster.
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