Covanta Sustainability Report GHG 2011
|Company||Covanta Holding Company|
|Filer||International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Pension Fund|
|Subject(s)||Climate Change; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Sustainability Reporting|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Sustainability report including greenhouse gas reduction goals|
|Status||Withdrawn; Company will address|
We believe that sustainability reporting on environmental, social and governance practices makes a company more responsive to the global business environment and increasing public expectations of corporate behavior. Sustainability reporting also helps companies better integrate and gain strategic value from existing social responsibility efforts, identify gaps and opportunities, publicize innovative practices and receive feedback;
Sustainability reporting is rapidly becoming common practice. According to a 2008 KPMG report on sustainability reporting, of the 250 Global Fortune companies, 79% produce sustainability reports compared to 52% in 2005. Of the 100 top U.S. companies by revenue, 73% produce sustainability reports compared to 32% in 2005;
Corporate sustainability reporting is essential to investors as they assess the strengths of corporate securities in the context of climate change and increased public awareness of corporate social and environmental responsibility;
Covanta Energy Corporation owns and operates facilities where waste is combusted in furnaces to convert the waste to energy, as well as landfill gas projects, which produce electricity by combusting methane gas produced in landfills;
Waste incineration and landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) projects have drawn criticism from environmental advocates who raise concerns that the practice is unsustainable;
The Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) reports that waste incineration releases high levels of greenhouse gases, wastes large amounts of energy, is a costly burden on host municipalities, and releases a range of pollutants, including dioxins, which cause a wide range of health problems. GAIA also states that waste incinerators produce far fewer jobs per ton of waste than alternative technologies and practices, such as recycling. (GAIA, Waste Incineration: A Dying Technology: no-burn.org/dyingtechnology);
The Recycling Works! Campaign, the Sierra Club, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters report that the environmental impact of methane escaping from the gas collection systems far outweighs the benefits of LFGTE projects. (The Danger of Corporate Landfill Gas-to-Energy Schemes and How to Fix It, http://www.teamster.org/sites/teamster.org/files/6310GreenhouseGasReportrevisedlowres.pdf);
Covanta Energy Corporation has incurred multiple environmental and labor violations since 2008 and is being sued by the Connecticut State Attorney General for dioxin emission violations at its waste-to-energy plant in Wallingford, Connecticut;
RESOLVED: That the shareholders of Covanta Holding Corporation hereby request that the Board of Directors prepare a sustainability report including strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and capture pollutants and addressing other environmental and social impacts. The report, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, should be made available by the 2012 annual meeting.
We recommend that the Company use the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (www.globalreporting.org) to prepare the sustainability report.
We further recommend that the Company’s report include an estimated calculation of all carbon emissions from Company facilities, including both fossil and biogenic carbon emissions, in accordance with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, (IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, 2006, Volume 5 (Waste), Chapter 5 (Waste Incineration and Open Burning), http://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2006gl/vol5.html).