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Environment: Need to stop companies to send their PRINTED annual reports

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  • Kussh Singh
    *PROBLEM:* 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
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2008
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      PROBLEM:  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.

      Solutions
      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.

      Kush
      Simple problem, simple solution -- find a problem which irritates you and do something about it

      --
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      Most Indians don't know their problems --they are in a circular loop
      Unless we know what is the problem, how can we solve it?
      SO FIRST STEPS FIRST
      1--Arrive at a consensus on what are the key problems and PUBLICISE them for universal awareness
      2--Then Publicise the solutions
      3--Implementation will fall into place automatically with the passage of time
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