Scotts and National Wildlife Federation: Toxic Partners?

For those absolutely devoid of scruples, charity fraud is the field par excellance, in which you can simultaneously harvest kudos for your humanitarianism and make off with vast bundles of untaxed cash. Convictions for charity fraud are so rare as to be nonexistent, so any criminals operating in other fields of endeavor are incurring unnecessary risks.

Scotts and National Wildlife Federation: Toxic Partners?

Postby admin » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:01 pm

Scotts and National Wildlife Federation: Toxic Partners?
BY VINCENT VIZACHERO
© 2012, Vincent Vizachero.

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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For the past few days, the National Wildlife Federation -– who describe themselves as working “to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future” -– has been weathering a firestorm of criticism for their decision to partner with Scotts Miracle-Gro -– who describe themselves as “the world’s largest marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products.” This might seem like a natural fit, until you realize that a significant portion of those branded consumer lawn and garden products are toxic environmental pollutants.

The partnership is undoubtedly a good one for Scotts: it allows them to greenwash their business is a way that no other single deal could have done. Scotts’ consumer sales in the U.S. were down 7% in 2011 compared to 2010, due in part to poor weather and higher commodity costs, but also due in part to shifts in consumer demand. As a result, they plan on increasing their marketing expenditure in 2012 by up to $40 million and we can assume that at least some of that increase will be associated with their new partnership with the National Wildlife Federation. The NWF logo on bags of Scotts birdseed and organic fertilizer will undoubtedly help Scotts sell more product in this new environment of sustainability.

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Kill Clover in the Lawn. That's the message from Scotts: "If you see little white flowers in your yard with bees active around them, chances are you have clover. Most lawns do. There are many kinds of this low–growing perennial weed that set up shop in yards across the country. The most common is white clover. Here's how you can control it."

But how about the NWF and –- more importantly –- wildlife? Is the Scotts Miracle-Gro partnership a fundamentally bad idea, or a good one? The NWF argues that they “saw a great opportunity in reaching past our usual audience to Scotts’ 30 million customers”, whereas some NWF supporters are accusing the non-profit of selling out to the proverbial devil.

Oil in Their Blood

In 1962, when Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands took office as President of WWF International, he brought an old friend on board as a major sponsor: John H. Loudon, General Director of petrochemicals giant Royal Dutch Shell. That was a bonanza for the WWF, but was also the source of much friction with other nature conservancy organizations -- at the time, Shell was generating its biggest profits with patents on pesticides based on chlorinated hydrocarbons. [14]

In that same year of 1962 several scientific journals revealed that these very pesticides were extremely hazardous for wild animals. There had been repeated mass die-offs of birds that had pecked at grain and seeds treated with Shell products. Instead of a serious self-critical response to the findings, the company responded with a salvo of counter-studies from subservient scientists.

In its effort to fend off the unpleasant truth Shell could rely completely on the help of the WWF. Prince Bernhard himself distributed an argument paper from Shell boss John H. Loudon to the WWF Board of Trustees. In his paper, Loudon asked the WWF to refrain from expressing criticism about the hazardous substances. He emphasized the "humanitarian usefulness" of the pesticides, which lay in their ability to prevent famine in the world. [15]

Sir Peter Scott, the renowned British bird lover, was the only one at the meeting of WWF leadership elite to raise a voice of dissent against the audacious argumentation advanced by Shell. Sir Peter said that, in truth, "greed" and the "total disregard of the natural environment" posed the largest threat to life on earth. But he, too, failed in the end to insist on a public condemnation of WWF sponsor Shell. It was agreed that a decision on the matter be postponed -- in fact, the WWF remained silent on the subject in the years that followed. The silence lasted until the mid-1970s, when the subject of CHC pesticides conveniently took care of itself: they were finally banned in the USA and most other countries on earth.

Over the years there were repeated debates in the WWF Executive Committee about whether they should be accepting financial contributions from "irresponsible" businesses. After protracted consideration, in the early 1980s the committee finally arrived at the definitive decision: better not to be so strict. It was "difficult to impossible" to make a moral judgment about a company. According to the minutes of an Executive Committee meeting, one member even quoted the Church as a precedent: "It was observed that no church refused donations from sinners." [16]

Three years after the pesticide scandal the relationship with the oil multinational had grown even closer. In 1966 John H. Loudon, by that time no longer General Director of Shell but Chairman of its Supervisory Board, became a member of the Executive Committee of WWF International, on the recommendation of Prince Bernhard. The oil industry could now have an even more direct influence on the environmental strategy of the biggest nature conservancy organization on Earth. That would payoff just a year later.

On March 18th, 1967 the oil tanker Torrey Canyon ran aground on a reef in the English Channel. The supertanker, which was chartered by British Petroleum (BP), broke apart; 200 kilometers of British and French coastal areas were contaminated by a massive oil spill -- the first in post-war history. 15,000 seabirds died an agonizing death, and the oil industry came under massive public fire. The WWF alone showed polite restraint. The International Executive Committee decided not to join other environmental groups in their condemnation of BP and others "as this might compromise further fund-raising efforts and approaches to certain industries, particularly in the United States."' [17] The WWF top brass made only one concession, allowing the British section to launch a "seabird appeal", which went on to raise 5,000 pounds sterling. The money was used to support the de-oiling and resettlement of the birds. The WWF contented itself with cleaning up the mess made by its industrial partner. A business model with a future?

-- Panda Leaks: The Dark Side of the WWF, by Wilfried Huismann


The Scotts brand that is, more than any other, a lightning rod for criticism is RoundUp. RoundUp is a broad-spectrum herbicide owned by Monsanto (Scotts is the exclusive U.S. marketer) which is a double-whammy for Scotts: not only is RoundUp a dastardly poison on its own merits, but it also ties Scotts to Monsanto which is a global purveyor of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The folks at the NWF clearly anticipated some backlash from members against their partnership with Scott but underestimated the severity of the backlash that flows from this guilt-by-association with Monsanto. Associating the NWF brand with RoundUp is likely to be a toxic career move for National Wildlife Federation executives.

But I think there is a more fundamental problem with the partnership, which is that Scotts Miracle-Gro’s revenues depend almost entirely on selling consumers products to kill wildlife and destroy wildlife habitat.

Some products, such as insecticides and herbicides, require no complex calculation: their sole function is to kill wildlife.

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Scott's view of an ideal environment: turf grass monoculture.

Other products, like lawn fertilizers, depend on selling Americans on the concept of great lawns. While it might appear that converting those fertilizers from petroleum-based synthetic chemicals to organic ones is a step in the right direction (and, technically, I suppose it is) the truth is lawns are anathema to wildlife. Lawns are a wasteland when it comes to wildlife, even organically maintained lawns. And, in the biggest irony of this story, no one knows that better than NWF supporters who have converted their own lawns to Certified Wildlife Habitats.

Even Scotts’ much-touted lines of designer bird seed are not so much a component of wildlife habitat as a substitute for it. If Americans stopped supporting their vast under-utilized lawns and planted native habitat gardens instead, we wouldn’t need vitamin-supplemented bird seed for our songbirds. In the bird food market, Scotts Miracle-Gro is playing the role of an arsonist, who burns down my house and then kindly offers to rent me a tent. NWF members can see through the charade, apparently, but the NWF itself cannot.

Executives at the National Wildlife Federation also seem to think they can “work from within” Scotts to make their products more environmentally sound. I doubt it, and not only because the NWF has been down this road before (when the NWF partnered with BP/Amoco). Scotts already knows that it makes a lot more revenue from 1,000 square feet of lawn than it can ever make off of 1,000 square feet of Certified Wildlife Habitat. And Scotts should get no credit for reducing phosphorous in their fertilizers, or for reducing the amount of peat in their potting mix, when those reductions are government mandates that Scotts fought to begin with.

Finally, I’ll come back to RoundUp. Anyone who thinks that Scotts is preparing to make a significant shift towards a wildlife-friendly business model should read their 2011 annual report. The section on “Risk Factors” is especially helpful for framing the things that Scotts sees as dangers to their profits (e.g. “Compliance with environmental and other public health regulations”). And the details of their marketing agreement with Monsanto is here:

If Monsanto were to terminate the Marketing Agreement for consumer Roundup® products, we would lose a substantial source of future earnings and overhead expense absorption.

If we were to commit a serious default under the Marketing Agreement with Monsanto for consumer Roundup® products, Monsanto may have the right to terminate the Marketing Agreement. If Monsanto were to terminate the Marketing Agreement for cause, we would not be entitled to any termination fee. Monsanto may also be able to terminate the Marketing Agreement within a given region, including North America, without paying us a termination fee if unit volume sales to consumers in that region decline: (i) over a cumulative three fiscal-year period; or (ii) by more than 5% for each of two consecutive years. If the Marketing Agreement was terminated for any reason, we would also lose all, or a substantial portion, of the significant source of earnings and overhead expense absorption the Marketing Agreement provides.
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Re: Scotts and National Wildlife Federation: Toxic Partners?

Postby admin » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:39 pm

National Wildlife Federation Teams up With Scotts Miracle Gro?
BY CAROLE SEVILLA BROWN
© 2012 – 2014, Carole Sevilla Brown.

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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[ Update: my interview with David Mizejewski of NWF defending this decision]

No, that title is not a mistake. The National Wildlife Federation and Scott’s Miracle Gro have teamed up. This was rumored to be taking place several months ago, but today it has become a reality. While my heart sank when I read the news, I had to ask myself “WHY?”

Why would an organization whose goal is to educate homeowners, schools, and communities about the value of creating wildlife habitat and protecting the environment team up with a corporation who sells billions of dollars of pesticides and other chemicals a year? Scotts also has exclusive distribution right in the US for Roundup, which is owned by Monsanto. Doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, does it?

To understand what’s going on we first have to understand the concept of greenwashing. Here’s my definition:

Greenwashing occurs when one corporation with a tarnished environmental reputation wants to make itself look like it really does care about the environment. So this company pays a LOT of money to an organization that (up until now) has a really good reputation in environmental advocacy.

This way the company with the bad reputation can show off what a good thing it is doing. You’ve heard of guilt by association, right? Well greenwashing is the opposite. It’s trying to associate environmental good deeds by being associated with someone who can make them look better.


As far as I’m concerned, there is no amount of greenwashing in the world that can clean up the reputation of Scotts.

On the other hand, why would the National Wildlife Federation want to enter into this deal with the devil? Well, they’re a non-profit organization that exists through the generosity of their donors. And what better way to fill their coffers than to enter into an agreement with a company that generates billions of dollars of profits every year?

Who cares if that company makes those billions from dumping tons and tons of chemical herbicides and pesticides into our lawns and gardens which then runs off wreaking havoc with our streams and watersheds?

I care!

I can totally understand Scotts desire for this partnership. Really, who wouldn’t want to have the stamp of approval from one of the most well known wildlife protection, habitat creation, environmental advocates in the country?

As far as why the National Wildlife Federation is concerned, though, all I can say is that I am deeply saddened that they would take this path. My respect for them is greatly diminished by this action, and in my mind they have lost all credibility.

I’m also sad because I have many dear online friends who work for NWF, amazing folks who are doing wonderful work in helping people create wildlife habitat in their gardens, schools, and communities, working to protect wildlife and their natural habitats, working to make the world a better place.

I love these people as individuals and totally support their work! But I am very troubled by this announcement, nonetheless :(

This partnership is for a very good project, to advance NWF’s nationwide Be Out There initiative to connect children with nature. Of course I’m a big advocate of creating more opportunities for children to be outside, to play and explore the wonders of nature around them!

I mean who can argue with this:

“National Wildlife Federation and Scotts are committed to getting millions more children to play outdoors on a regular basis. This relationship is a win for American childhood, because together we will help families raise healthier and happier children who have a lifelong commitment to protecting wildlife and the natural world,” said Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of NWF. “Through this new partnership, ScottsMiracle-Gro will help NWF’s Be Out There initiative create events, tools and resources that inspire parents to make nature a part of their family’s everyday lives.” ~From the press release sent out by Scotts


But lets think about what kids naturally do while they’re playing, they roll around on the ground, they put their hands in their mouths. Do you really want your kids eating these chemicals? I wouldn’t imagine you would!

The question is, what do we do about this? Well our voices may not compare to large sums of money, but we still have a voice, and we can tell NWF directly how this partnership makes us feel:

• Post your thoughts on NWF’s facebook page (make sure you click the tab that says “Everyone” under the photo bar)
• Tweet your message to NWF on twitter, including @NWF in your message
• Call NWF: 1-800-822-9919 ; M-F 8 a.m to 8 p.m. EST
• Leave a comment on their webiste

So what are your thoughts on this partnership?

[Update 1, 1/24/12 9:04 am: I’ll be interviewing David Mizejewski from NWF later this afternoon. What would you like me to ask him? Please post your questions here and I’ll make sure to include them in my interview.]

[Update 2, 1/24/12/ 6:02 pm:]

I spoke with David Mizejewski, spokesperson for the National Wildlife Federation about the partnership between NWf and Scotts Miracle Gro this afternoon (I’ll publish that interview tomorrow), and I firmly believe that they have a serious messaging problem. It feels like they are tying themselves in knots trying to defend the indefensible.

See David’s comment below. Do you have any clue how they think that the National Wildlife Federation hopes to continue its mission of creating wildlife habitat while at the same time partnering with a chemical company whose products kill wildlife? Neither do I!

While David is passionate about creating wildlife habitat, protecting songbirds, and reaching more people to help them learn to create more habitat for wildlife in their gardens (and I have long respected and admired his work), I am having a very difficult time understanding how NWF thinks they can overcome the PR nightmare of this.

Think about it, when you see this sentence: “National Wildlife Federation and ScottsMiracle-Gro Create Partnership” don’t you do some kind of double take?

That’s the title of the press release sent out by Scotts. It’s total cognitive dissonance. This does not compute!


Let’s use the National Wildlife Federation’s own words to see if that will help us understand what they think they can gain:

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National Wildlife Federation: Lilly, thank you for your comment. This partnership is in no way an endorsement of all of Scott's products. Scotts has produced several organic gardening products that are effective alternatives to conventional products that promote a beautiful, natural garden. We're working with Scotts to ensure that more products within the Scotts line continue to be made in a more environmentally friendly manner.


Notice the words “This partnership is in no way an endorsement of ALL of Scott’s products.” So they’re not going to endorse Miracle Gro and Roundup, so what products WOULD they endorse? This point was not missed on our own Vincent Vizachero:

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Vincent Vizachero. There are no "environmentally sound" products in the Scott's line as far as I am concerned. Perhaps you can give us some examples of the products you ARE endorsing and some examples of products you'll advise people NOT to use. Candid statements of this sort might help some of us believe this partnership is not a complete sellout.


Really! Which products is National Wildlife Federation willing to take a stand and endorse? I would surely like for them to specifically mention which of Scotts products they think is the best that can be done.

In working so hard to try to reach Scotts 30 million customers, the problem is this: the National Wildlife Federation is either willing to blow off all of us who have supported them for so many years (Are we an acceptable loss when it comes to ROI?)

OR, they need to address their message problem. Kudos to all of you because you worked so hard to expose this particular PR nightmare. And, I’m pleased to say that David M. told me they are now willing to listen to us.


Listening is one thing, I would like them to go back to the drawing board and attempt to come up with a message that doesn’t cause us all to say WTH? There are some very smart people who work at NWF, and I am friends with many of them online. If you are so thrilled about this partnership, please come up with a better message. A message that does not leave all of us who have been your biggest fans feeling betrayed, sad, angry, and so much more.

NWF, we want to believe in you. We have been your biggest fans for many years. Please help us understand why you think this is a good idea!

Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.
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Re: Scotts and National Wildlife Federation: Toxic Partners?

Postby admin » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:56 pm

ScottsMiracle-Gro Announces Financial Results for Fiscal 2011; Sales and Adjusted Earnings in Line with Recently Updated Guidance
Full-year sales decline 2% to $2.84 billion, Q4 sales decline 1% to $417 million
Scotts LawnService reports 5% full-year sales increase, record operating income
Full-year adjusted EPS of $2.76 compares to $3.24 in fiscal 2010
by ScottsMiracleGro
November 8, 2011

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG), the world's leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, today reported net sales for fiscal 2011 of $2.84 billion. The decrease of 2 percent from 2010 levels was due primarily to poor weather throughout the U.S. lawn and garden season as well as lower sales in the mass merchant retail channel.

Adjusted income from continuing operations - which excludes product registration and recall matters, as well as impairment, restructuring and other charges - was $182.6 million, or $2.76 per share, compared with $218.8 million, or $3.24 per share in fiscal 2010.

"While 2011 was perhaps the most challenging lawn and garden season I can recall, I was encouraged that consumer participation was strong when the weather cooperated and that both our International consumer business and Scotts LawnService had solid performance on a full-year basis," said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive officer. "In the U.S., however, poor weather in the peak weeks of both the spring and fall lawn and garden seasons prevented us from ever really establishing momentum. Those facts, coupled with higher commodity costs and changes to the merchandising strategies at a key retailer led to a disappointing result.

"As we look ahead, we're optimistic that sales will rebound strongly in fiscal 2012. Year-over-year comparisons should be easier if weather approaches something more normal, plus we are bringing meaningful innovation to the marketplace. While we see top line growth of at least 6 percent in 2012, we will not provide EPS guidance until our Analyst Day meeting in February due to the continued variability of commodity costs and work still being done to finalize next year's marketing plans."

FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS

Company-wide sales for the quarter ended September 30 were $417.2 million, a decrease of 1 percent from the same period a year ago. Sales in the Global Consumer segment declined 8 percent to $308 million. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange, Global Consumer sales decreased 9 percent.

Scotts LawnService reported sales of $83.4 million, an increase of 5 percent from the comparable quarter in 2010.

On an adjusted basis, the company-wide gross margin rate was 26.2 percent in the quarter, compared with 30.3 percent a year earlier. Zero-margin sales to ICL, which acquired the Company's Global Professional business during the second quarter, was the primary reason for the decline, followed by negative product mix and higher than expected commodity costs.

Selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) were $136.7 million, down 9 percent from $151 million a year earlier. The decrease was primarily driven by the reduction of variable compensation due to the Company's overall financial performance for the year.

The operating loss for the Global Consumer segment was $28.2 million, compared with a loss of $9.1 million for the same period last year. Scotts LawnService reported operating income of $23.2 million, compared with $21.7 million a year ago. The company-wide adjusted loss from continuing operations before income taxes was $44.3 million.

Adjusted loss from continuing operations - which excludes product registration and recall matters, as well as impairment, restructuring and other charges - of $28.8 million in the quarter, or $0.46 per share, compared with a loss of $18.6 million, or $0.28 per share a year earlier. The reported loss from continuing operations was $71.7 million, or $1.16 per share, compared with $33.1 million, or $0.50 per share, in the prior year.

The quarter included impairment, restructuring and other charges of $62.3 million as well as product registration and recall-related charges of $3.6 million.

FULL-YEAR RESULTS

Global Consumer sales declined 4 percent to $2.53 billion, a decline of 5 percent when excluding the impact of foreign exchange. Within the segment, sales in the U.S. declined by 7 percent for reasons previously stated. International sales increased by 7 percent.

"We were pleased with our International performance this year, especially considering the weather challenges in Canada and the unexpected bankruptcy of one of our largest retail partners in the UK during the peak of the lawn and garden season," Hagedorn said. "Innovation was a large driver of these results, specifically the continued success of our EZ Seed product line. In addition, our Canadian business benefitted significantly from the launch of natural lawn care products."

Scotts LawnService sales increased 5 percent for the year to $235.6 million. The business continued to benefit from improved sales efforts, higher customer satisfaction rates and improved customer retention. The results are in line with the guidance provided at the beginning of the year.

"The Scotts LawnService team continues to overcome the macro economic environment and, this year, also overcame challenges due to poor weather," Hagedorn said. "For the third year in a row SLS posted record operating income. We are confident in the continued success of this business and consider it a meaningful part of our long-term growth strategy."

On an adjusted basis, the company-wide gross margin rate declined 110 basis points to 36.1 percent. SG&A decreased 1 percent for the year to $688.5 million.

Company-wide adjusted income from continuing operations before income taxes was $285.5 million. The Global Consumer segment reported operating income of $425.6 million and Scotts LawnService reported operating income of $25.9 million.

Adjusted income from continuing operations - which excludes product registration and recall matters, as well as impairment, restructuring and other charges - was $182.6 million for the year, or $2.76 per share, compared with of $218.8 million, or $3.24 per share a year earlier. Reported income from continuing operations was $121.9 million, or $1.84 per share, compared with $200.5 million, or $2.97 per share, in the prior year.

The Company recorded impairment, restructuring and other charges of $76.1 million, as well as product registration and recall-related charges of $14.6 million.

Adjusted EBITDA was $392.7 million compared with $437.8 million.

The Company will discuss its results during a Webcast and conference call today at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate in the conference call, please call 1-866-682-3515 (Conference ID: 20090664). A replay of the call can be heard by calling 1-855-859-2056. A Webcast of the call also will be available live at http://investor.scotts.com.

An archive of the Webcast, as well as accompanying financial information regarding any non-GAAP financial measures discussed by the Company during the call, will be available on the Web site for at least 12 months.

About ScottsMiracle-Gro

With approximately $3 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, The Scotts Company LLC, is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we operate Scotts LawnService®, the second largest residential lawn care service business. In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertiligene® and Substral®. For additional information, visit us at http://www.scotts.com.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, which address activities, events and developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, but not limited to, information regarding the future economic performance and financial condition of the Company, the plans and objectives of the Company's management, and the Company's assumptions regarding such performance and plans are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified as statements that include phrases such as "guidance," "outlook," "projected," "believe," "target," "predict," "estimate," "forecast," "strategy," "may," "goal," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "foresee," "likely," "will," "should" or other similar words or phrases. Actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking information in this release due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

• The ongoing governmental investigations regarding the Company's compliance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act of 1947, as amended, could adversely affect the Company's financial condition, results of operations or cash flows;
• Compliance with environmental and other public health regulations could increase the Company's costs of doing business or limit the Company's ability to market all of its products;
• Increases in the prices of raw materials could adversely affect the Company's results of operations;
• The highly competitive nature of the Company's markets could adversely affect its ability to maintain or grow revenues;
• Because of the concentration of the Company's sales to a small number of retail customers, the loss of one or more of, or significant reduction in orders from, its top customers could adversely affect the Company's financial results;
• Adverse weather conditions could adversely impact financial results;
• The Company's international operations make the Company susceptible to fluctuations in currency exchange rates and to other costs and risks associated with international regulation;
• The Company may not be able to adequately protect its intellectual property and other proprietary rights that are material to the Company's business;
• The Company depends on key personnel and may not be able to retain those employees or recruit additional qualified personnel;
• If Monsanto Company were to terminate the Marketing Agreement for consumer Roundup products, the Company would lose a substantial source of future earnings and overhead expense absorption;
• Hagedorn Partnership, L.P. beneficially owns approximately 30% of the Company's common shares and can significantly influence decisions that require the approval of shareholders;
• The Company may pursue acquisitions, dispositions, investments, dividends, share repurchases and/or other corporate transactions that it believes will maximize equity returns of its shareholders but may involve risks.

Additional detailed information concerning a number of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this release is readily available in the Company's publicly filed quarterly, annual and other reports. The Company disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.

THE SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO COMPANY
Results of Operations for the Three and Twelve Months
Ended September 30, 2011 and September 30, 2010
(in millions, except per share data)
(Unaudited)
Note: See Accompanying Footnotes

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THE SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO COMPANY
Net Sales and Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations before Income Taxes by Segment for the
Three and Twelve Months Ended September 30, 2011 and September 30, 2010
(in millions)
(Unaudited)

The Company is divided into the following reportable segments: Global Consumer and Scotts LawnService®. This division of reportable segments is consistent with how the segments report to and are managed by senior management of the Company. The Company's reportable segments have been revised to reflect the sale of a significant majority of the assets of our previously reported Global Professional business segment, which is now reported in discontinued operations (see Footnote 5). Furthermore, reclassifications have been made to prior period segment amounts to reflect changes in the allocation of certain shared expenses among the segments, which in management's judgment better align those expenses with the associated drivers and benefits.
Segment performance is evaluated based on several factors, including income from continuing operations before amortization, product registration and recall costs, impairment and restructuring and other charges, which are not generally accepted accounting principle ("GAAP") measures. Management uses this measure of operating profit to gauge segment performance because we believe this measure is the most indicative of performance trends and the overall earnings potential of each segment.

Corporate & Other consists of the Company's non-European professional seed business and revenues and expenses associated with the Company's supply agreements with Israel Chemicals Ltd., as well as corporate and administrative expenses.

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THE SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO COMPANY
Consolidated Balance Sheets
September 30, 2011 and September 30, 2010
(in millions)
(Unaudited)

Image

THE SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO COMPANY
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Disclosure Items for the Three
Months Ended September 30, 2011 and September 30, 2010
(in millions, except per share data)
(Unaudited)
Note: See Notes 3 and 4 to the Accompanying Footnotes

Image
Image

THE SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO COMPANY
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Disclosure Items for the Twelve
Months Ended September 30, 2011 and September 30, 2010
(in millions, except per share data)
(Unaudited)
Note: See Notes 3 and 4 to the Accompanying Footnotes

Image
Image

THE SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO COMPANY
Footnotes to Preceding Financial Statements


Results of Operations

(1) Basic income (loss) per common share amounts are calculated by dividing income (loss) from continuing operations, income from discontinued operations and net income (loss) by average common shares outstanding during the period.

(2) Diluted income (loss) per common share amounts are calculated by dividing income (loss) from continuing operations, income from discontinued operations and net income (loss) by the average common shares and dilutive potential common shares (common stock options, stock appreciation rights, performance shares, performance units, restricted stock and restricted stock units) outstanding during the period. Since there is a loss for the three months ended September 30, 2011 and 2010, dilutive potential common shares were not included in the calculations for those periods because to do so would have been anti-dilutive.

(3) "Adjusted EBITDA" is defined as net income (loss) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as well as certain other items such as the impact of the cumulative effect of changes in accounting, costs associated with debt refinancing, and other non-recurring, non-cash items affecting net income. In addition, non-recurring cash items affecting net income that are incurred between April 3, 2011 and June 30, 2012 in an aggregate amount not to exceed $40 million are also excluded from the determination of adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA is not intended to represent cash flow from operations as defined by generally accepted accounting principles and should not be used as an alternative to net income or income from continuing operations as an indicator of operating performance or to cash flow as a measure of liquidity.

(4) The Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Disclosure Items includes the following non-GAAP financial measures:

Adjusted income (loss) from continuing operations and adjusted diluted income (loss) per share from continuing operations - These measures exclude charges or credits relating to refinancings, impairments, restructurings, product registration and recall matters, discontinued operations and other unusual items such as costs or gains related to discrete projects or transactions that are apart from and not indicative of the results of the operations of the business.

Adjusted EBITDA - The presentation of adjusted EBITDA is provided as a convenience to the Company's lenders because adjusted EBITDA is a component of certain debt covenants.

The Company reports its financial results in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). However, management believes that certain non-GAAP financial measures used in managing the business may provide users of this financial information additional meaningful comparisons between current results and results in prior operating periods. The Company believes that these non-GAAP financial measures are the most indicative of the Company's ongoing earnings capabilities and that disclosure of these non-GAAP financial measures therefore provides useful information to investors and other users of its financial statements, such as lenders. Non-GAAP financial measures should be viewed in addition to, and not as an alternative for, the Company's reported results prepared in accordance with GAAP.

(5) On February 28, 2011, the Company completed the previously announced sale of a significant majority of the assets of its global professional business (excluding the non-European professional seed business, "Global Pro") to Israel Chemicals Ltd. for $270 million in an all-cash transaction, subject to certain adjustments at closing.

Beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, the Company reclassified the assets and liabilities of Global Pro to assets and liabilities held for sale and included the results of operations of Global Pro in discontinued operations for all periods presented. The Global Pro results from discontinued operations include an allocation of interest expense relating to the amount of the Company's senior secured credit facilities that were repaid from the sale proceeds.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2010, the Company completed the closure of its Smith & Hawken business. As a result, beginning in the first quarter of fiscal 2010 the Company included the results of operations of Smith & Hawken in discontinued operations for all periods presented.
SOURCE The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
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Re: Scotts and National Wildlife Federation: Toxic Partners?

Postby admin » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:59 pm

BP and the National Wildlife Federation
by sourcewatch.org

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(This article is an extract from a longer article "Endangered Wildlife Friends Are Here!" by John Stauber in PR Watch, Volume 8, No. 3 3rd quarter 2001. AS with other entries in SourceWatch it can be edited and added to.) --

I recently stopped at a BP/Amoco gas station near the office of PR Watch. The gas pumps were gaily adorned with colorful posters featuring stuffed toy timber wolves, golden frogs, elephants, spotted leopards and panda bears. "Endangered wildlife friends are here!" the poster proclaimed. "Collect All 5--Only $2.99." The posters carried the logo of Amoco at the top. Beneath a picture of the spotted leopard, the logo of the National Wildlife Federation accompanied text explaining that sale of the stuffed animals would help raise funds for the NWF. Inside I found the stuffed toys, bagged in plastic and labeled "made in China." When I asked the cashier, he said they weren't moving too well. He pointed to a corner display where they had marked the price down from $2.99 to $1.99, "just to get rid of them."

In February 2001, journalist Michelle Cole reported that the National Wildlife Federation had formed a "partnership" with BP/Amoco. NWF gladly accepts corporate donations, and Cole noted that it has also "partnered with some businesses with which other environmental groups would not want to be associated. As a part of a special promotion, customers who purchased at least eight gallons at BP/Amoco gas stations could also get stuffed toys, 'Endangered Wildlife Friends,' tagged with the National Wildlife Federation logo and bearing the message that fossil fuel consumption contributes to global climate change. ... Marketing experts refer to this type of activity as 'branding.' Or, roughly translated, the lengths to which businesses, organizations and some individuals will go to burn a favorable image into the public's minds and hearts and to be distinctly remembered for it."

When Cole interviewed NWF's Vice President of Communications, Philip B. Kavits, he declined to say how much money his group had received from BP/Amoco, and he defended the partnering because it helped NWF "reach a new audience." I called Kavits myself in late July, and this time he was a bit more forthcoming. "The latest figure is $113,000," he said when I asked him about the money. Kavits admitted that the NWF has no measurable evidence that peddling plastic stuffed animals from gas stations really contributes in any way to public education on the issue of global warming, but he asserted that "large numbers of people did go to our website where they found more information."

I asked if the "made in China" logo meant that the stuffed animals were made in sweatshops. Kavits said he didn't know. He also said that NWF's partnership with BP/Amoco did not imply an endorsement.


"BP is one of a huge number of partners that we've dealt with," Kavits said. "This is a small one compared with others we've done. All of Dannon's yogurt containers for years carried fun facts. It really got kids attuned, hopefully, to what's out there in the world. ... It's a two-way relationship. NWF gets revenue out of it. ... In return, hopefully these companies get a chance to showcase their concern." In any case, Kavits asserted, the promotional arrangement with BP/Amoco "ended in February."

Perhaps it had ended in the minds of NWF, but at the BP/Amoco station I visited, the promotion was still being hyped in September, half a year later. I conducted an unscientific survey of one customer who agreed with me that having wildlife posters from the National Wildlife Federation on the pump did sound like an endorsement. She was in a hurry, however, and didn't have much time to talk with me. She paid her bill and drove off in her giant SUV, minus the stuffed toy and without any apologies or evident concern about its gas-guzzling, climate-destroying engine.

Pieces of Silver

The $113,000 that NWF has received from BP/Amoco is pocket change for a company that spends millions of dollars on PR and advertising to create the impression that it cares for the environment more than, say, Exxon. From the company's point of view, being able to decorate its pumps with NWF posters for this price is an incredible marketing coup.

BP/Amoco has been carefully positioning itself as a good guy in the fossil fuel industry. It was one of the first oil companies to break publicly with the Global Climate Coalition, the industry's front group on the issue of global warming. It has even tried changing its name, claiming that "BP" stands for "Beyond Petroleum" instead of British Petroleum.

Now that the Bush administration plans to allow oil extraction in the Alaska National Wildlife Preserve, however, BP/Amoco finds itself on the horns of a PR dilemma. Like other oil companies, it stands to make a bundle of money by drilling there, even though the preserve is home to some real "wildlife friends," not just stuffed animals. Like the rest of the oil industry, BP knows very well that it is not really "beyond petroleum," and when this kind of business opportunity comes its way, good-guy rhetoric quickly falls by the wayside.

This contradiction is merely a minor PR dilemma for the spinmeisters employed by BP/Amoco, whose ranks include Burson-Marsteller, Ketchum, MSI Strategic Communications and BSMG Worldwide.

For the National Wildlife Federation, however, it ought to be a major embarrassment. If it is, though, Kavits give no such indication when I interviewed him.
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Re: Scotts and National Wildlife Federation: Toxic Partners?

Postby admin » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:02 pm

NWF and Scotts: We’ve seen this story before
By Vincent Vizachero
January 25, 2012

Today I posted some of my thoughts about the new partnership between the National Wildlife Federation and Scotts Miracle-Gro over at Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens. This has become quite a controversial topic in the past day or two, in part because it calls into question the ability of the NWF to act as an impartial advocate for wildlife in this country.

There is one aspect of the news that I didn’t emphasize in that post, though I did mention it, in part because I’d already written more than most people want to read at once.

But one thing that it is interesting about this new partnership is the “we’ve been down this road before” aspect. In 2000, the National Wildlife Federation formed a partnership with oil conglomerate BP/Amoco in which BP gas stations would sell stuffed “Endangered Wildlife Friends” with NWF branding.

This is interesting on several fronts. One is that BP/Amoco went on to cause one of the great environmental disasters of our time. A disaster that prompted the National Wildlife Federation to produce and air several public service announcements on the damage to wildlife.






We can only hope that this current NWF “partnership” with Scotts does not end in the same kind of tragedy that the former “partnership” with BP did.

Also interesting is how similar the language used by the NWF to defend the BP partnership is to the language they’ve used this week to defend the Scotts one. From the PRwatch piece linked above:

NWF’s Vice President of Communications, Philip B. Kavits, he declined to say how much money his group had received from BP/Amoco, and he defended the partnering because it helped NWF “reach a new audience.” . . . He also said that NWF’s partnership with BP/Amoco did not imply an endorsement.


I’ve said before that I think the National Wildlife Federation staff have the best intentions, but their judgement doesn’t seem all that strong when it comes to these arrangements.
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