By Maitane Sardon

 

Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, is facing pressure from an environmentally-focused investor to allow customers to fix their own devices to reduce electronic waste.

On Tuesday, mutual fund company Green Century said it had filed a shareholder proposal with Alphabet requesting it make Google devices more easily repairable by consumers and independent shops, and thus more environmentally friendly. It is also urging the company to stop lobbying against legislation that would expand repair access.

"Given the current regulatory landscape and growing interest from consumers, any company in the technology industry that is not embracing repair exposes itself to significant risk," said Green Century Capital Management's president Leslie Samuelrich.

Alphabet shareholders may be asked to vote on the changes at the company's annual general meeting. Although shareholder resolutions aren't legally binding in the U.S. and Canada, they are a way to prod companies to adopt more sustainable practices.

The move comes amid growing calls for tech companies to reverse years of restrictive repair policies that force consumers to buy a new product instead of repairing broken ones. Last year, shareholder advocacy group As You Sow said it would withdraw a resolution it filed with Microsoft Corp. after the company agreed to increase consumers' options to repair their devices. In November, Green Century withdrew another resolution with Apple Inc. following the company's launch of a self-service repair program.

"We urge Google to follow in the footsteps of industry peers like Apple and Microsoft and stop restricting repair," Ms. Samuelrich said.

Alphabet didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

 

Write to Maitane Sardon at maitane.sardon@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 11, 2022 12:37 ET (17:37 GMT)

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