As You Sow (AYS) is a nonprofit that promotes environmental justice and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy and coalition building. Working through shareholder interests to reduce toxic chemicals in specific consumer products, the organization increases environmental sustainability in the Bay Area’s low-income neighborhoods and the consumer products they use. Low-income communities historically are the most impacted by toxics and pollutants, yet usually lack the financial or legal resources to rectify the conditions.
To date, AYS has participated in over 150 shareholder dialogues or resolutions with companies such as Disney, McDonald’s, GE, Starbucks, Gap Inc, Target and Home Depot. Successes include work with KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, which stopped using BPA laden cash register receipts after receiving AYS’s resolution on the impact of BPA on the environment. Their accomplishments also include publishing a framework to help food companies evaluate the risks of toxic particles in products and packaging, which was well received by the food industry and safety advocates, and led to McDonald’s launching a pilot program eliminating polystyrene cups in 2,000 restaurants in Northern California.
As You Sow secures its funding through a mixture of sources: multi-year foundational grants, litigation payments and awards. Community Vision provided AYS with a $100,000 line of credit to manage cash flow during foundation reimbursement cycles, allowing the organization to operate without interruption. We are proud to support an organization that works to increase the environmental and human rights of communities by holding companies accountable for their impact in low-income neighborhoods.