Amazon.com Climate Risk Disclosure 2012
|Subject(s)||Climate Change; Energy Efficiency (products); Greenhouse Gas Emissions|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Climate risk disclosure|
WHEREAS in 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report stated it is “very likely” that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have heavily contributed 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.”
WHEREAS, 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.
WHEREAS, 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.”
WHEREAS, 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.”
WHEREAS, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), representing 551 institutional investors with assets of more than $71 trillion under management, requested corporations to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related risks in February, 2011. Currently Amazon.com Inc does not respond to the CDP questionnaire.
WHEREAS, nearly 70 percent of S&P 500 companies and over 80 percent of Global 500 companies have responded to the CDP, including eBay Inc, Google Inc., and Target Corp. The CDP publicly cites Amazon.com Inc as being among the 10 U.S. and Global companies with largest market capitalization that do not respond to the climate change survey.
WHEREAS, companies such as Apple Inc disclose information regarding the environmental footprint, including greenhouse gas emissions, of major electronic products. Amazon.com currently discloses no such information regarding the Kindle, self-described by the company as its best-selling product.
WHEREAS, 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.
Resolved: Shareholders request that within 6 months of the 2012 annual meeting, the Board of Directors provide a report to shareholders, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, describing how Amazon.com Inc is assessing the impact of climate change on the corporation, and specifically risks related to greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and logistics, and the corporation’s plans to publicly disclose this assessment.