Amazon Climate Risk Report 2013
|Subject(s)||Climate Change; Energy Efficiency (industrial); Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Renewables|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Climate risk report|
|Status||Withdrawn; Company will address|
In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report stated it is “very likely” that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions heavily contribute to climate change. Furthermore, “there is substantial economic potential for the mitigation of global greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades, that could offset the projected growth of global emissions or reduce emissions below current levels.”
The 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, led by the former chief economist at the World Bank, “...estimates that if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever.” Yet, investment of 1% global GDP each year is enough for appropriate mitigation.
In 2008, Acclimatise, a risk management firm, reported that climate-related “impacts will be felt throughout a company’s business model, with consequences for its raw materials, supply chains, essential utilities, assets and operations, markets, customers and products, its workforce and the communities in which it is located.”
Increasingly investors believe that there is an intersection between climate change and corporate financial performance. Goldman Sachs reported in May, 2009, “We find that while many companies acknowledge the challenges climate change presents . . . there are significant differences in the extent to which companies are taking action. Differences in the effectiveness of response across industries create opportunities to lose or establish competitive advantage, which we believe will prove increasingly important to investment performance.”
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), representing 665 institutional investors with assets of more than $78 trillion, requested corporations disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related risks in February, 2012. Over 80 percent of Global 500 companies have responded to the CDP, including eBay, Google, and Target. The CDP has publicly cited Amazon.com as being among the largest companies that do not respond to the climate change survey.
Companies such as Apple disclose information regarding the environmental footprint, including greenhouse gas emissions, of major electronic products. Amazon.com currently discloses no such information regarding the Kindle, described by Amazon.com as its best-selling product.
More than half of the Fortune 100 and more than two-thirds of the Global 100
have set greenhouse gas emissions reduction commitments, renewable energy commitments or both.
Data centers, which are integral to the Web Services business, require a significant amount of energy, which contributes to global climate change. Currently, Amazon.com does not publicly disclose information about energy management.
Extreme weather events, which will likely increase in severity and frequency due to climate change, may impact Amazon.com’s data centers and the company’s ability to ship and transport goods.
Shareholders request that within 6 months of the 2013 annual meeting, the Board of Directors provide a report to shareholders, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, describing how Amazon.com is managing risks related to climate change, including physical risks, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and renewable energy use.