DSW Sustainability Report 2012
|Subject(s)||Supply Chain; Sustainability Reporting; Vendor standards|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Sustainability report including supply chain|
|Status||Withdrawn; Company will address|
WHEREAS: Investors increasingly seek disclosure of companies’ social and environmental practices in the belief that they impact shareholder value. Many investors believe companies that are good employers, environmental stewards, and corporate citizens, are more likely to generate stronger financial returns, better respond to emerging issues, and enjoy long-term business success.
Mainstream financial companies are continuing to recognize the links between environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) performance and shareholder value. As such, the availability of ESG performance data is growing through a wide range of data providers, such as Bloomberg. Also, investment firms like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Asset Management are increasingly incorporating corporate social and environmental practices into their investment decisions. Furthermore, the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment, a set of guidelines that can be adopted by institutional investors addressing ESG issues, has approximately 920 signatories representing $30 trillion assets under management as of July 2011.
There has been an increase in corporate management of ESG issues and corporate sustainability reporting. According to a 2011 survey, 95% of the Global Fortune 250 companies now release corporate responsibility data, which is an increase of 11% since 2008 (KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2011).
Consumer cyclical companies have significant sustainability impacts related to supply-chain management and environment. In the footwear industry, companies like Nike and Adidas have taken the lead in addressing these key impacts through comprehensive sustainability reporting. Our Company does not provide sustainability reporting or any evidence indicating management of its sustainability impacts. As investors, we believe that implementing and disclosing sustainability practices can help a company manage and reduce the cost of goods sold, through energy, transportation and packaging efficiencies, or employee programs that may reduce turnover, thus, lowering overall operating expenses.
Sustainability disclosure also helps investors understand how the company is addressing reputational risks, such as labor problems in the supply chain, or emerging regulatory risks, both of which can have a damaging impact on the brand value of a company.
Managing these sustainability opportunities and risks is increasingly becoming a competitive advantage.
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors prepare a sustainability report describing corporate policies on environmental management and addressing supply-chain risks, specifically vendor standards and compliance mechanisms for its vendors and suppliers. The report, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, should be published by November 2012.
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: The report should include the company’s definition of sustainability and a company-wide review of company policies, practices, and metrics related to long-term social and environmental sustainability.
We recommend that DSW use the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines to prepare the report. The Global Reporting Initiative (www.globalreporting.org) is an international organization developed with representatives from the business, environmental, human rights, and labor communities.