Light Bulbs and General Electric


While compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are a popular energy saving product, they contain mercury. Up until 2010, CFLs had no warning labels or instruction on what to do in the event of accidental breakage. Millions of these bulbs were being sold each year by retailers across the country.

As You Sow engaged General Electric (GE), one of the top manufactures of CFLs, in 2009 about the problem by filing a shareholder resolution requesting the company label their CFL packaging.

GE responded to our request by immediately assembling an industry group and facilitating meetings with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Within a few months the FTC put a rule into place requiring all manufactures to include mercury content and access to clean-up information on CFL packaging.

This example shows when a company listens to shareholders and acts proactively, solutions can be found quickly that benefit everyone.