At its April 2016 annual meeting, PPG announced plans to eliminate lead from all of its paints and coatings by 2020. This positive development follows years of consumer pressure and investor voices calling for a phase-out of lead paint.
Praxis Mutual Funds® co-filed a shareholder resolution with PPG ahead of its annual meeting in 2015, asking the company to reduce occupational and community health hazards by eliminating the use of lead in paint and coatings by a specified date. This was followed by shareholder conversations with the company.
The neurotoxic and developmental impacts of lead have been well established for decades, but lead paint continues to be sold in various parts of the world, particularly in countries with little or no regulation of paints. While PPG does not manufacture architectural or residential paints containing lead, a small part of its business produces industrial paints and coatings containing lead pigments. The historic use of lead paint still negatively impacts public health in the United States and other places, and contributes to ongoing liabilities.