Environmentalists ask SEC to examine P&G's wood pulp supply chain claims

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 Environmentalists ask SEC to examine P&G's wood pulp supply chain claims
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By Jessica DiNapoli


NEW YORK, Nov 30 (Reuters) - An international environment advocacy group on Wednesday asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to evaluate whether Procter & Gamble Co's claims that its wood pulp suppliers practices help keep forests intact are misleading to investors.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said in a letter to the SEC that it has been scrutinizing P&G's disclosures and has concluded the company's statements that it prohibits the degradation of forests are "implausible."

The advocacy group wrote that P&G's claims could be materially misleading to investors because the company sources from pristine forests and from areas that are habitats for caribou.

P&G annually purchases more than one million metric tons of wood pulp, which comes from trees, to makes Charmin toilet paper, Bounty paper towels and Puffs tissues.

P&G has been under pressure from NRDC and other environmentalists for the last few years to use more recycled materials in its products.

P&G declined to comment. The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. NRDC wants the SEC, the main U.S. markets regulator, to consider appropriate enforcement action or require P&G to update its statements to investors.

P&G said in September that for every tree used, at least two are re-grown, and that it uses satellite monitoring and audits to check on its forest sourcing.

The environmental group also said that P&G's claims are concerning because some investors take into consideration how the company ranks compared to its peers on its environment-related actions.

NRDC also said that P&G is overly reliant on third-party certifications for the sustainability of its wood pulp supply chain.

NRDC recently encouraged shareholders to vote against CEO Jon Moeller and two directors, Angela Braly and Patricia Woertz, at P&G's annual meeting. The directors and CEO were all voted in last month with more than 90% support. (Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli in New York)

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